This is almost unbelievable! 10 days ago I thought I would FINALLY be getting out on the trail. I drove from Ashland, OR, to Tenino, WA, secured a ride back to the start-point for the PCT at Hood River, and was all excited…until I called for a last minute check-in with Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and learned that the snow isn’t anywhere NEAR being gone, and conditions are not good for hiking STILL, in the high elevations in both OR and WA. I called several other snow numbers, and read the PCTA.org journals – and it’s all looking the same. There are stretches that are fine, but it’s not good for through-hiking unless you don’t mind crampons and ice axe and sleeping in snow at the higher elevations.
Sooooo….my first reaction this morning was one of great disappointment and a wish to blow the whole thing off entirely. But now I’ve thought about it a bit and I think I’ll just get out and do some other hikes for awhile – lower elevations, warmer, less gear, shorter distances, maybe some loops, and then go back down to OR and do the same there, and possibly hike the PCT from the OR border to Crater Lake, if the trail is good by then. Then in September I will go down to CA and hike the Tahoe Rim Trail and let the rest of the PCT sit until the ice age has receded…. though that could be a good long while.
The highlight of my summer so far in terms of outdoor adventures was the inflatable raft trip I took by myself down the Rogue River in OR just 2 days ago from Hogs Back to Graves Creek. What a beautiful river and an exceptional day, and many wonderful people out on the river and in the raft rental businesses. I’m now looking forward to going next summer with a group of friends through the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue, if I’m still in the country 🙂 With the way things seem to be working so far, I just may be!
Maybe I’ll get some more river running in this summer somewhere back in OR – it was wonderful beyond words! I watched an Osprey bathe, groups of mama ducks with baby ducks, fish jump, eagles fly, and got the old adrenaline going with each rapid I went through. Did the Class 3 rapids just before Argo with no problem – what a relief! The whole thing was a joy!
So now it looks as though I’ll stay in Tenino through this Wine and Music Festival weekend, then start some loop trail up here before heading back down to OR to do a few down there in August. Seems like I must be on Plan D by now….