Sweat Creek Trailhead (510.1) to Road Camp (521.3)
Around lunchtime I got a ride from Artie – one of the PNT trail angels of Republic – to Sweat Creek trailhead. I left Republic with mixed feelings as I got to really like this small cowboy-style town. People were awesome here. Just last minute I discovered the Food Coop – a nice Shop with great products and a little bakery (be careful, tasty macaroons!!). I met a woman there and within two minutes she offered to swap contact details as she had a friend in Port Townsend who might help me along the way. How nice is that?!
Anyway… today’s hike… I wanted to do around ten miles not knowing what was waiting for me at the end of the line. The first five miles were normal hiking. Uphill of course, a bit of a climb in the heat of the day. Water was a bit of an issue as the only spring during the climb was nearly dry and “Easy Spring” didn’t look inviting at all.
Finally I reached the top of the climb and it was downhill from there. Partly quite steep so I was happy when the trail flattened off a bit. Overall the terrain had changed a lot. The forest itself looked a lot more dry same as the surrounding mountains or hills. I had Artie’s information in my head that started with “next section” and ended with “rattlesnakes”. See you on trail guys!
I hiked on and just before I hit Cougar Crest Road got lost on private property. In a country full of people with guns this wasn’t good. Oh man! I sneaked through watched by some cows and finally had to climb a fence to get out and on the public part of the road. I made my way towards the access point of Cougar Creek and passed by some weird abandoned cars.
It was like walking through a freak show. The private property I saw next to the road was a mess.
Looking for a camp spot I didn’t feel comfortable at all. When I found the water access and filled my bottles there was still nowhere to camp. I ended up hiking all the way to the crossing with the paved road. Here are some houses and a woman talked to me about my journey. I camp right behind their fence but still kind of next to the road. Worst campsite ever! Hopefully the people here are as good as I believe…