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Moira/Dennis "Sea Hag & Robo Knee" Rockwell/Keis
Begins: Apr 27, 2012
Date: Tue, Jul 26th, 2016
Start: Sandy Creek
End: Indian Springs Campground
Daily Distance: 21.3
Trip Distance: 2,021.7
Entry Visits: 109
Journal Visits: 46,965
Guestbook Views: 1,445
Guestbook Entrys: 15
Up at 5:30 am. On the trail at 6:15 am. The first order of business was to cross the Sandy River. It is a very silty, snow melt river and can be treacherous at times. There was no bridge. My knees were knocking in anticipation. The creek flow was definitely less than last night however. We crossed on some narrow logs (branches) that spanned the fast flowing water. Karen went first, I followed. We didn't even get our feet wet.
We regained the trail on the other side by following the cairns through the rocks. We decided to take the Ramona Falls Alternate trail. It was the same distance as the PCT, but took us past pretty Ramona Falls. It did seem, however, that the 2 mile alternate trail was a lot longer than 2 miles. We took pictures of the falls then followed its outlet creek to rejoin the PCT (mile 2105.9 - 2767 feet). This was the lowest elevation we have encountered so far ... until we drop to Cascade Locks and the Columbia River tomorrow.
From this point, of course, it was up very steeply. We crossed the Muddy Fork Creek on two logs (mile 2106.4 - 2797 feet). The bridge was washed out in 2014. In the next 2.5 miles we climbed nearly 1600 feet. We climbed until we reached the Timberline Trail Junction (mile 2108.0 - 4328 feet). We actually climbed higher along a ridge (with views of Mt. Hood) before we dropped to Lolo Pass (mile 2111.7 - 3136 feet) ... nearly 1200 feet! After resting at a picnic table (and eating many ripe blueberries), it was up again to Salvation Spring (mile 2116.1 - 4085 feet). Up another 900 feet.
We passed high above large Lost Lake and followed a narrow trail on the side of a steep mountain. We passed between Devil's Pupil and Preacher Peak. We also passed through the Bull Run watershed. We stopped at a small spring next to the PCT (mile 2119.6 - 4426 feet) for water and for dinner at 3:30 pm. We left again at 4:10 pm and plodded on. We crossed an abandoned road (mile 2123.3 - 4279 feet), then crossed to the north side of the ridge where we had great views of the Washington mountains - Mt. St Helens, Mt. Adams and even Mt. Rainier in the distance. We climbed gently along this ridge, then dropped to the Indian Springs Campground (mile 2125.1 - 4245 feet). We are set up for our last day tomorrow where we will drop steeply on the Indian Springs Trail to join the Eagle Creek Trail (a highly recommended PCT alternate) and then our return to Cascade Locks.
Total miles 21.3, arriving at 6:30 pm.
Today we met south bounder thru-hikers Scratch, Continental Drifter, Mr. Z and Connecticut.
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Moira & Dennis
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