Friday, August 22, 2014, Mile 2165: Little Birthday Joys

At a campsite near a small stream, Mile 2165

Happy 50th to me!!! Hit the trail at 7:15. It was up in one form or another as I wrapped around Table Mountain at 2157, and then hit Three Corners. The ravines echoed with logging operations. Saw Hood, St. Helens, and Adams. Hood was pretty close, and Adams far. Hard to believe that this will change so radically in a week or so.

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The way opens up to a clearing with power lines.
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The river catches the early morning sun.
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Mt. Adams in the far distance…tantalizing. This is the goal for my section hike.
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Mt. Hood, fading away to the south.
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Mt. Rainier to the far north.
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An old burn.
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Rowanberry, also known as Mountain Ash.

Took the side trail up to Three Corners Spring at 3400 ft., mile 2160. The trail is about a third of a mile. I didn’t go all the way to the viewpoint, but focused on the water instead. It was a welcome sight! There is a hose from the spring to a rusty, decrepit trough. Water is a little brown but fine to drink. To get the water, you need to “pump” the hose, and when it refills, you empty it into your container.

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The end of my first dry stretch, 8.8 miles. The note on top describes the location of the spring, and details for getting water.
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About 1/3 mile up from the junction is this sign on the ground: “Water Trough.”
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The industrial strength hose is connected to a reliable spring. The trough is rusted through, so to obtain water you need to lower the hose until it is full, and then empty it into your water container. The water is brownish but good, and I had a full liter of Nuun (electrolyte replacement).
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Water is full, and we’re heading for Rock Creek.

From Three Corners, it was all downhill to Rock Creek, at 2164. What a delightful place! Perfect spot to soak tired feet, water cool but not too cold. There was even a backrest on the rock…almost as good as a recliner. I filled up everything, because yes indeed, we have another long-ish dry spell tomorrow. Met Slaughterhouse, a girl from Kansas/Colorado. She was great, and happily took the foot soaking perch as soon as I was done.

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Rock Creek is the perfect place to relax: water temp is just right, there’s a comfy rock with a back rest, and the piggies feel like a million bucks when you’re done. Fantastic birthday present!
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And it’s not just for the piggies…the creek is lovely.
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Awesome to see the work of Scouts, even three decades on.

Meeting her put a spring in my step, and I made great time to my campsite at 2165. It’s near a seasonal stream which is still flowing, so I’ll be able to top off in the morning. The campsite has room for two more but so far no one has asked. There’s a giant cedar log across the length, and its girth is more than twice as tall as my pack.

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Where I spent my birthday.
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A fallen old growth cedar is a great place to lean a pack.
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Okay, it’s only cocoa, but I had to drink a toast to the next 50 years.

I miss my guys, but I’ve got to say, this is a heck of a way to turn 50. I have the best family in the world.

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