Day 45

August 30
Miles:  10.5 + 4 looking for phone
PCT:  2278 – 2288.5
Total Miles:  560.4

Goat Rocks Wilderness!!!

I walked through the Goat Rocks Wilderness today, which was amazing, scary, cold, wet and hail.  It was very cloudy, windy, and foggy out.  The winds had to be gusting at 50 mph.  The views were arresting, when the clouds lifted.  There is an area about a mile long called the knife edge that was terrifying because of the wind.  You walk across the top of the mountain ridge where the sides narrow to the width of the trail in spots.  With the wind gusts, it’s hard to keep from being blown off the cliffs on either side.  I had to squat down close to the ground and crab walk to keep a low profile, using my poles for balance.  I didn’t have a rain coat as my resupply in Cascade Locks never made it and it had my rain gear in it.  I did have an umbrella, but it was useless in the high winds.

After crossing the knife edge, I had to cross a snow field that was slippery and scary.  I made it, but never want to do that again.  Next I had to traverse the side of a steep mountain that had trail washouts.  Some of the washouts were almost impassable.  I had to dig my boot into the mud on the side of the mountain and grab the loose rocks on the side and scoot across.  One slip and down I go, thousands of feet down a rocky steep surface.  No chance to live through that.

Finally, I get a couple miles down the trail at lower elevation and I discovered that my phone was missing.  My phone is my navigation.  Without it, I have to use paper maps, which suck.  I hiked back about 2 miles, back across the sketchy trail wash outs to the highest point on the trail.  No phone.  So I headed back down.  I had to wear my down jacket as I don’t have a rain coat and it got very cold out.  But the rain and hail came again and soaked me.  I made it back and discovered that my phone had fallen down my leg, wedged between my rain pants and boot.  I was so relieved to get my phone back.  It was wet, but it worked fine.  It was getting late, so I found a nearby camp, setup my tent and jumped inside.  Got off all my wet clothes and put on my dry sleeping clothes.  I was warm enough in my down bag.  It rained all night.

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My water filter system.  Uses gravity to filter rather than squeezing or pumping.

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Bill (Blackhawk Down)

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5 Responses to Day 45

  1. Rick & Wanda says:

    Holy cow, Bill! Sure glad you made it over knife edge unscathed. That looks very unnerving even without the wind; can’t imagine. Greatly enjoying your pictures and tales in the safety of our computer chairs! 😉 Rick and Wanda

  2. BeeKeeper says:

    I’m so the opposite of you. I LOVED knife’s edge. You are definitely giving yourself plenty of thrills hopefully enough to making hiking an enjoyable endeavor.

    • billweberx says:

      Jan, I didn’t say that I didn’t like the knife edge. I didn’t like the 50 mph wind gusts that were trying to throw me off the mountain. The rain, fog and hail also sucked. What I could see of Goat Rocks including the Knife Edge was spectacular beauty.

      Bill

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