Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Buck Creek Ride, Part Two...

As previously mentioned, we continued to climb, and I mean climb! At one point, we did start to descend about 300-400 feet, and Amber was quite pleased with herself. "See???" she said, "I told you we were heading back down."
Her smugness didn't last very long though, as we turned a corner, and began to climb uphill again; quickly regaining all lost elevation. You can see how steep some of these switchbacks were by looking at the picture below... I was beginning to become mildly alarmed at our elevation too, because every where we looked, there were wild mountain huckleberries...Noble firs...And long, grayish/black, stringy moss. All things that you only see growing at higher elevations over here.Now, before I continue, let me say that we were definitely not prepared to be riding up in the high country. We had two large bottles of water, two baggies of almonds, two granola bars, light weight jackets, a cell phone, and that was it.

We had no compass, no knife, no first aid kit, and no flint; although I did of course have my epi-pen.

Remember, we had planned on going for a trail ride, not an adventure, and by this time, we had hiked a good two -three miles ourselves, and we were hungry and thirsty. Moving on...we came around a corner, and found ourselves up on a ridge line, and all of the sudden, we had cell phone service. As it was about 2:00, and we figured that we would be expected home by no later than 5:00, Amber called her hubby, Brad.

She was able to tell him that we left Buck Creek around 11:00, that she had thought we were heading in a loop/circle back down towards it, but that now she wasn't so sure. Her last words to him were "Yeah...don't worry. We are up on some ridge, and we are lost." Then, at that exact moment, she lost service.
So...here's the thing...we were never technically lost, as we had remained on the same trail-whose trail number we knew-the whole time. All we had to do was turn around and ride back, right??? Wrong!!!! Amber-oh how I do love thee!!!!!-still insisted that we should forge ahead, and that if we did, we might find a spur to take us back.
I should have put my foot down, but I told Amber we could ride for about one more hour and then turn around.
I was also worried that Brad would call Kevin and tell him that we were "lost," per his cut-off conversation with us. Who knew what was going on back at home????
Do you see the rock face in the picture below??? At our highest point, we were riding up in the treeline above it. Then, we started to wind downhill a bit.Finally, at 3:20, we came to another logging road, and the trail that we were on had the same trail number that it did when we left Buck Creek, but it also had a name. And do you know what that name was???? Suntop Trail!!!!! "Oh shit," I said, "We just rode on that trail from Buck Creek to Huckleberry Creek, which means that we are not going to be anywhere near our trailer when we get down."
Ever the optimist, Amber then tried to tell me that I was confused and that I must be mistaken: Suntop wasn't at the top of Huckleberry Creek, it was at the top of Buck Creek.
She then suggested that we turn around at this point and head back the way we came. Now...it had taken us 3.5 hours to get here, and it was now almost 4:00, so that would put us back at camp around 7:30 or so, and back home around 8:30.
All of this, and who knew what was going on back at home???
To be continued.......

6 comments:

lytha said...

awesome story! you know you're up high when the huckleberries turn blue! seriously, i had an argument with someone from montana who insisted huckleberrise were blue. i said no, they're red. well it turns out we were both right. there's the lowland kind, and the alpine kind. you were in the alps melanie!

those are yummy, i hope you ate some.

maybe you could post a map so we have an idea where that is?

°lytha

Melanie said...

Lytha-
Yes, we were up there...lol!!!!
We were on trail #1183/Suntop Trail. Here is a link to a site that talks about it. We were actually higher than Suntop though, and didn't reach the take-off spot for it until we had come down quite a ways.

http://travel.yahoo.com/p-parks-224227-suntop_trail_mt_baker_snoqualmie_national_forest_backpacking-i

Gail said...

That is one ride I am glad I was not on!

painthorsestudio said...

This is hillarious! I am riveted to this story - and you know I heard Ambers version already, lol!! You guys are awesome...!

oregonsunshine said...

Mellie, that moss is called "spanish moss" and its more invasive and parasitic than other types of mosses here in the PNW. I've got it all over the place in our oaks here. And while I *think* we might have some huckleberries here, I don't know what color they are. Then again, I just discovered that we have snowberries, which are not edible, and their shrubs look similar to huckleberries.

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

YIKES!! I would have been super nervous!!! I've been lost in the bush and even on a trail it is really a horrible feeling. I would have been happy with all the huckleberries though... I LOVE them (leave it to me to pick out the food as the positive part of this tale! lol)... ours are a light red color and tartly sweet!