Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day 111 - Ramona Falls

Tuesday August 4

Last night I was almost asleep when I heard a loud "thud" about twenty feet from the tent. A huge dead branch had fallen from one of the tall fir trees! It worries me that sometime I might not be so lucky. 

Perhaps the anxiety from the falling branch made me dream that I had taken a trail in the night back to my house, but realized I had forgotten to tell Deb that I had left. I was hurrying back on the trail to get to the camp when I woke up. What a crazy dream!

This morning I noticed it is later now before the sun comes up. I used to be able to get up before 5, but now it is barely light. I was up at 5:15. Deb and I got packed up and were on the trail by 6. 

I realized that the river we camped by last night was not the Sandy river. It was a stream feeding into it. We had several river crossings to make. The Sandy river was the most difficult. The river is fed by meltwater from a glacier on Mount Hood. The water is silty and flowing quickly. It is impossible to see how deep the water is, plus the unstable rocks on the edge make it difficult to get around. I managed to step from a log to a rock and then rock-hop across. It was too far of a step for Deb to cross in the same place. We had to walk upstream where there were some small logs placed together. Deb was able to cross there. 

In a riverbed like this, it is difficult to find the trail. We searched for fifteen minutes before finding rock cairns marking the trail. 

Soon we came to the Ramona Falls trail. The falls are beautiful.

From here the trail crossed the Muddy Fork river. We were able to cross the river on a pair of logs. There was also a rope to hold onto, which made the crossing much safer. 

The next challenge was the climb up from the river to the ridge above, about 1,500 feet in two miles. It was difficult enough for me to trudge my way to the top. I felt bad for Deb, so I dropped my pack at the top and headed back down to see how she was doing. She had made it 2/3 of the way up over the steepest part of the trail. I helped her finish the last third. 

We then dropped off the ridge down to Lolo Pass where the trail crosses a paved road. Of course the trail then climbs another 900 feet to the ridge top. By now Deb was feeling like her pack had an anchor on it. We got water and found a ridge top campsite. 

On the ridge we could see Mount Adams and below us we could see Lost Lake with lots of boats and development around its shores.

On the menu tonight was rice with chicken, combined tastefully with Fritos, a splash of olive oil, and seasoned with a dash of "slap yo mama". 

I am camped tonight at PCT mile 2130.2. We hiked 14.3 miles. The elevation here is 4,244 feet. 

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