Yeah. You would go too. Don't judge.
But, before all of that, there were more cute river otters this morning when I went out to take the dog for his morning constitutional.
|Our two buddies returned.|
|And they brought a friend!|
But, no time for frivolity. We only have a couple of days until I have to go back to work and we must use them wisely. Not only that, but you have to do something cool on a February day that looks like this.
Sarah arranged to meet up with our great friend Ruthie and her gang for a hike and some scenery somewhere somewhat equidistant from us. After some debate and Googling, they hit on Spider Lake and the High Steel Bridge. We decided to meet there around 11:30 and then hike around the lake before heading over to the bridge. Consult with Google Maps and (doot, deet, doot, deeeeee.) That will be about a two hour drive. Fine, plan on leaving around 0900.
Up and at it, saw the otters (which verified the camera worked...I learn slowly, but I do learn.)
We were off. And about the time we wanted to leave, awesome. We set out with the directions written down. The first turn doesn't make sense. Why did we have to drive so far on a parallel surface road? If we had stayed on the highway it would have taken us there a few exits later and likely much faster. Hmmm. Whatever. Then we turned on the designated road. This road twisted and turned through pretty, pastoral scenery. Gradually it grew smaller and less well maintained until it turned into a gravel road. Then, something unexpected happened. It ended.
Yup. The road, which Google Maps assured us was the Forest Service Road 225something, abruptly terminated at someone's driveway. Check the map and the bold blue line ran right through that guy's house. Well, now what?
Not to be deterred, we backtracked and found another road which appeared to parallel the projected track for a while and joined up again later. So, we tried it. It was a rough logging truck road pockmarked with 50 gallon potholes. This wasn't so reassuring, but sure enough, it curved back around and we were back on the right road. It was slow going. Aside from the huge holes all over the place, the ruts in the road were made by high clearance vehicles. For those that aren't sure, the 99 Honda Civic is not a high clearance vehicle. It is, however, Hondo the Adventure Car. So he was totally up for this. So what if we scraped all the loose wires and pointy metal things off the underside of the car? It was probably extra anyway.Things were going well, if a little slow, until the road ended again. This time the end came in the form of a large, orange, metal bar across the road with some signage saying something like crossing this border will unleash the Sasquatch Army. Regardless, Hondo doesn't come equipped with a battering ram attachment.
However, there was another little side road that looked like it might be going in the same direction we needed to be going. We were far enough out that we didn't have cell service and Sarah's phone had the original map on it, from earlier. What the heck? Let's go. So we took the side road, and in a few short minutes, Google Maps reported we were driving through the wilderness. Hey, what's an adventure day with working maps? We kept orienteering and driving until we started climbing this mountain. As we broke out into a freshly cut area at a higher elevation, cell service returned and we updated the map. The good news was that we were out of the wilderness and back on a road. The bad news was that the map showed the road ending soon. Oh well, we were off the map a minute ago. It was at least worth the check. It was now 11:30. We weren't going to make our scheduled meeting time. Since she had service, Sarah called Ruthie and texted her trying to let her know what was going on. No answer. Figures, she was probably just as far out as we were.
Oh well, keep driving.
Then, it happened. The road ended again. Except this time, it ended. I mean, ended.
|Nope, not driving any further.|
|Just over Hondo, you can barely make out Rainier|
|The view was fantastic|
As nice as the view was, it was time to get back on the road. We loaded back up and started driving, with no maps or GPS to speak of. We turned around thinking we might be able to find our way back the way we came. This time we decided to keep the camera up in the front with us to capture some of the adventure. If we weren't going to make the Spider Lake hike, this was our adventure.
|Oh yeah, did I mention steep drops?|
No way we were going to make it though.
|Yeah, that's normal.|
|We hadn't seen a car in over an hour. Parking on a one lane bridge made sense.|
|Michael said, "I think I saw a sign that said 'Nowhere, zero miles.'"|
|Did I mention big rocks and landslides?|
|Don't look mom.|
|Ahhh, back to the forest|
|Cool log bridge|
|The Spider Lake|
|I only saw one spider.|
|There they are! Run Amaia!|
|Michael wouldn't do it. Good sport Ruthie.|
|Back together again.|
|Long way down|
|Is that a...?|
So, I had to give Sarah the car keys before I went over the side and got this picture.
|Underneath the bridge/the tarp has sprung a leak|
|Love the moss hanging on the branches|
We turned around and decided to risk the blank spot on the map. It led us quickly to a paved road and took us home in just over an hour.
Yeah. Trip out, 3.5 hours. Trip home 1.2 hours.
Let's try a more normal adventure next time.
|Hondo - The Adventure Car.|