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Sean "Miner" Nordeen
Begins: Apr 17, 2009
Date: Sat, Sep 5th, 2009
Start: Ramona Falls
End: 7 1/2 Mile Camp (Eagle Creek Alternative Route)
Daily Distance: 29.7
Trip Distance: 2,017.2
Entry Visits: 326
Journal Visits: 87,969
Guestbook Views: 17,303
Guestbook Entrys: 23
Eagle Creek Alternative Route
I slept in because I wanted to take photos of Ramona Falls and I need some sunlight for it. So I got moving around 7:30am when it seemed like the drizzle was returning. I hung out at the falls until 8:30 in order to get some photos in the poor lighting (due to clouds, rain, and heavy tree coverage). The trail around Ramona Falls was enjoyable and I was sorry to leave it. As I hiked on in the morning, the rain grew heavier and constant.
Due to the wetness everywhere, I didn't take the breaks I normally like to take. I noticed around 10am that I wasn't making good time (partly due to the late start and partly due to the rain). So I forced myself to hike faster. Latter, that wasn't a problem as I would hike faster to stay warm.
At Lolo Pass, I noticed a tractor with an enclosed cab and I walked over and noticed the door was wide open and the seat was dry so I took a break inside for 15mintues. An hour latter (around 12:20pm), I noticed a log that wasn't saturated with water. So I took a lunch break there while the large tree above me sheltered most of the rain off me.
However, this would be my last real break of the day and I would hike until almost 8pm without resting. I also hiked fast to stay warm as my wind pants were saturating on the wet brush and I was wet underneath. At Indian Creek CG, I saw a truck moving forward on idle loaded with young people and beer cans filled the truck bed. They offered me food if I wanted to come to their camp. They had hosted thru-hikers last year during labor day weekend as well. I wanted to make Cascade Locks by lunch tomorrow so I passed.
I reached Wahtum Lake around 5:30pm and found a couple camped at the trail junction. I felt intrusive as I listened to them in their tent while I verified that I wanted to take this trail since it wasn't the official route and thus my maps didn't really cover it. The upper trail was in excellent condition and I pushed on really fast. I had read that there may be a primitive shelter at 7 1/2mile camp in the WP guidebook so I wanted to make it by dark. About a mile away, my fast pace caught up to me as I should have slowed down when the brush started over growing the trail. My foot caught something and I ended up running 6 steps forward to catch my balance and my right foot (the one I pulled something pushing into Crater Lake that had pretty much healed up) screamed in pain on the bottom. I limped into 7 1/2 camp and choose a campsite with some tree coverage. I never did see a primitive shelter so either it no longer exists or it wasn't obvious where it was.
I set up my tarp high and wide so I'd have a lot of room. The terrain and the tree coverage I was under and surrounded by suggested to me that I wouldn't see much wind. Fortunately, the rain had stopped in the last hour so I was able to set up camp without it. I cooked dinner under the tarp though it wasn't really necessary but I wanted to sit on my dry ground cloth and went to bed.
A Walk North On The PCT - 2009
One small step for man, but I'll walk even farther for a burger.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. Join the PCTA to support this trail.
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