Trout Creek (2224.3) to Forest Road 23 (2229.4)
Boom! Another big drop was hitting my tentfly. It was raining every now and then during the night and whenever it wasn’t the tree above me was dripping as hell. The night wasn’t quiet at all. I myself was tossing and turning because both hips were aching after a while. Was I feeling the cold and wet in my bones?
It was already 8 am when I told myself to get up slowly. I had a couple of bars for breakfast and packed up in my tent to avoid the cold and wet outside.
My watch showed past nine when I started walking. But it didn’t matter. The Forest Service road 23 with access to Trout Lake was only about five miles away. Occasionally the sun was shining through the trees and it was a beautiful morning – if I ignored my wet and cold feet. The same questions as the day before started nagging in my head. What to do? The next meadow on the map was a flooded lake too. I managed to crest around the nearly knee deep water. Wasn’t it clear?
It was already lunchtime when I arrived at the road. Didn’t look like a lot of traffic. I started hiking towards lake searching for the list of trail angels who were picking up hikers during the season. After about half a mile My cell signal showed two bars and I dialed the first number. Doug Anderson seemed to be the boss of the trail Angels but his wife told me that he was not available. I dialed the next number when I lost service. Hiking further down the road I took my next chance and dialed the next number. No answer. The next… and the next…
I was already thinking about a 12 mile roadwalk when the next person picked up the phone. Jim White said he could pick me up. Thankfully I hung up and hiked towards him on the side of the road. Have you ever called a stranger to pick you up in the middle of nowhere?
When Jim arrived I thanked him and hopped into the car. We chatted on the way down into the Trout Valley and it was interesting to hear his experiences with wildlife as a former forester. Just as I had guessed the wildlife up here was shy and nothing to be afraid of at all.
Jim showed me around town (about three houses) and dropped me off at the grocery store. I signed the grocery store register as well as Jim’s personal register for driven hikers. He wrote that I was the first to hike through Indian Heaven Wilderness. I was a little proud!
Bev from the store showed me around and I checked in for a total of three nights at the grocery store. I am always hungry and my room is in the back of a well stocked grocery store! How cool is that? The prices in general are very reasonable here in rural Washington compared to California.
I went over to the gas station and cafe to have lunch. A burger and some fries were gone in no time! Back at the store I asked for the doctor. I had nearly forgotten about my tick bite. Bev pointed across the street to a guy who was mowing his lawns. Just ask him! I went over, introduced myself and asked if I could show him my tick bite. A short yes and I pulled up my shirt. Not too bad at all, the doctor said. What I thought was a red circle seemed to be just the usual reaction. I should watch it for a bigger circle and come back if I developed some fever. Funny guy! I thanked him for the advice and went back to the store.
Small town America – I love you! While at home my health insurer went crazy I could go to the doctor here for free. No business hours, no rules, no paper work. Just helpful people – that is all it takes!