Size matters! Click on any photo to enjoy a larger image.
|Trailhead sign swallowed by the rhodies
The Salmon River Trail stretches a total of 14.5 miles from the lower portion, just south of the town of Zigzag, to it's termination, near Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood. With a car shuttle, it's possible to hike the entire thing one-way (which I'd really like to do someday). But today it was just Bear and I, so we headed toward the upper section, accessed from a maze of Forest Service Roads near Trillium Lake.
|Waterlogged tiger lily
|Log bridge crossing
The weather report predicted sunny weather for Friday, so I went ahead and took the day off. Imagine my surprise when I woke Friday morning to wet, cloudy skies. Foiled by the weatherman again! But I'd made my plans, and wasn't going change them now. After making sure my raingear was in the car, I loaded up Bear and headed to the mountain.
|This trail was anything but dry!
|Midway creek crossing
|Yep we were definitely in the wilderness!
|Can you find the trail?
|Happy to be back on a real trail
But the Fir Tree trail was worse! Much worse. The tread was fainter, the bushes more dense. I got lost again and again, only to be helped by Bear (good dog!). Not only busting through wet leaves, I hit every spiderweb stretched across my path (most of them in my face - ewwwww!!) Finally, I ended up in a boggy area, where someone had tied pink survey tape into the trees. I realized this tape marked the trail (or where it was supposed to be). I started to follow the tape, but it took me through such dense woods, I began to fear getting lost.
|Vine maple leaves already turning
But I also didn't want to end up on the news. So I made the difficult decision to turn around and head back the way I came, down a known path (faint though it was).
|Finally hiking on a real trail
Bear and I were totally soaked. My rain jacket and gaiters had kept parts of me dry, but my pants were sopping wet. Water was starting to soak through my backpack too. But the sun was trying to come out, and I knew things would dry. I'd come to hike the Salmon River Trail, and now that's what I was gonna do.
|Huge log across the trail made us turn around
After fighting through the underbrush, it was so nice to hike on a good trail! The upper trail was absolutely wonderful. It led me down a gentle grade. After a mile, I could hear rushing water. The trail began to follow the Salmon River, far below. The woods thickened, and I began to see larger old-growth Douglas fir and red cedar trees. Bear and crossed a couple of pretty burbling creeks. I even saw a few of the beautiful but rare Washington Lilies.
|Roadside tiger lily
On my drive back to the highway, I discovered a huge patch of tiger lilies growing along the side of the road. You know me, I just had to stop and photograph them. So I'll end this story with one of my tiger lily photos.
The lesson for today - never trust trail directions from a book published in 1994. That is, unless you like adventure (and getting wet).
Linking to This or That Thursday.