Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To the Divide – Part 3

Tim called it the hike of death. I just think of it as a hilarious, exhilarating, awesome and completely unexpected adventure. Here is part one of the tale.

 It started out well enough. First though, I needed to summon the spirit of the Rohirrim for our quest!

Summoning the Rohirrim

We hiked along Cascade canyon. With a picturesque river winding down the middle, tall spruce and pine along the valley floor, and high mountain ridges and meadows on either side, we were soaking up the beautiful surroundings. Stopping by a pool in the river, it was time for a bite of oatmeal.

Prepping oatmeal
Now I should let you know at this point that it was not raining, but our tent was wet. So was my sleeping bag and my pad. The reason was the night before it had poured, and well you know the drill. However, I'm thinking that we'll make camp with a few hours of daylight and be able to air out the tent, my bag was only somewhat damp, and the pad dries quick. That's of course when the rain started. We had just finished our food and were just continuing on when the sky let loose. Okay maybe it will let up... Nope! Instead it starts hailing. Disappointment starts to set in. I know that if it doesn't clear soon we'll arrive soaked, with our sleeping shit already wet, and probably freeze that night in the sub zero temperatures. Keeping mental track of how many hours it'll take to return to the car if necessary, we hike diligently onward. It's at this point, in a miserable soaked state, that I practically walked into a moose. The moose was also looking like it was in a miserable soaked state. Without even breaking my stride I quickly turn and walk back down the trail. This was not the time to go moose riding!

This was the right time to ride a moose!
Not a beast we were keen to tangle with, we cut off to the left of the path to out flank it. This is not before Tim attempted to grab a pic, aborting the idea as the moose started towards him looking pissed! Scrambling away we laughed it off, and continued on. The rain finally let up but we were soaked! Right through my coat, boots, rain pants and all.

Still not ready to give up, we continued onward to camp. Then like a holy beacon of light we spotted it. Well Tim saw it first, but I realized quickly what it meant. A cabin. 

Tucked away in the fork of a great canyon, and nestled amongst the towering conifers was shelter. Off the path we went. Popping inside we were greeted to a rustic cabin equipped with the most glorious thing of all, a wood stove, and in the attic, cots! There was no question... we'd take shelter in the cabin for the remainder of the evening and night, and hit the trail the next morning when the weather was supposed to be clear. Firing up the stove, and with hot chocolate on the go, we could not believe our luck! I even found a small guitar with the bottom three strings still on, and rocked out some reggae tunes as our belongings dried. The only thing missing was beer and babes, and sometimes in life you can't have it all! 

A wood stove fire and hot chocolate never felt so nice!

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