Monday, September 2, 2013

Cross 2 Ross {Day 5: Big Beaver Camp to Ross Dam, HWY 20}

Joseph hits snooze on day 5 at Big Beaver Camp

Our final morning in camp mirrored every other morning in camp, except that on this day we had a strict timeline in order to meet our driver at the rendezvous spot on Highway 20.  Various ailments plagued us, ranging from Judah's injured (splinted) finger, a strange growth/giant blister at the site of my wasp sting, Joseph's killer headache, and Tim's sore feet.
A sight for sore eyes bodies: Highway 20 in just 7 miles!
 Joseph and Caleb decided to hike out in sandals rather than bothering with hiking boots, which may or may not have been an option along other stretches of this 50 miler.  The rest of us laced up our boots and we all headed for home.
Who needs hiking boots?
Home-bound on day 5, hiking from Big Beaver Camp to Washington State Route 20 via Ross Dam
Although we were due to rendezvous, a few incredible view points along the last stretch of our trail begged for attention and called us to rest and take in the scenery.  As we passed several day hikers along the way, we felt encouraged knowing our destination neared.  Seeing a runner without even a bottle of water for the trail gave us a glimmer of finally finishing our 50 mile journey.
Ross Lake vista from the trail on day 5
Tim and me along the final stretch of the 50 mile trek, Ross Lake and Canada beyond
Regrouping and recouping on the Ross Dam with a lunch of summer sausage and dried fruit, we budgeted our remaining time to allow for a leisurely break.  Beautiful weather, spectacular views in all directions, and the dam itself a work to behold, our legs were rested and our imaginations captivated by the time we started hiking again.  Walking on concrete, though only for a short stretch, felt unfamiliar and harsh.
Lunch break atop Ross Dam
Looking down from Ross Dam to the Diablo below
Ross Dam from above

Peter, Bridget, Tim, Zachary and Joseph, pausing around mile 49 of 50, on our trek from Hannegan Pass to Ross Lake
Zachary pauses at the grave marker of Glen Harry Smith, buried in Ross Dam
 To the memory of Glen Harry Smith
Born March 31, 1885 Died September 10, 1939

Assistant Superintendent and one of the leaders of City Light. Associated with the City of Seattle Department of Lighting from June 13, 1909 to September 10, 1939.
Urn was placed in Ross Dam - Section 12 - Elevation 1327 - Midway between contraction joints eleven and twelve - Fifty feet from upstream face.
In grateful remembrance - by his associates

Closing in on the 50-miler finish line, the crew treks over Ross Dam.
Peter, Judah and Joseph peer over the edge of Ross Dam to the spillway below.
Follow the signs
With under a mile remaining on our 5 day excursion, we found ourselves walking in circles attempting to find the trail connecting Ross Dam with Highway 20.  Our map lacked the necessary detail for this final approach, and we wandered a bit aimlessly as a result.  Much to the horror of at least on (young) male on our crew, I simply flagged down a passing truck on the access road and asked for directions. Problem solved.  We turned around and headed in the right direction, only a short distance from the clearly marked trail we almost missed.
Following the dam portage/shuttle for canoeists, our crew treks out from the Ross Dam to Highway 20; one last mile.
The crowning climb on this trip involved one last grueling set of switchbacks, of the intense uphill variety.  The lads and gents wasted no time reaching the summit, but knowing that I could arrive well within the allotted pick-up zone without strenuous effort, I took the incline nice and easy.  With yet a fair stretch remaining, Enoch found me and offered to carry my pack to the parking lot, an offer I gladly accepted.  Relieved of my pack at a creek crossing, I let Enoch hike on ahead and dropped in to the icy water for a short, refreshing dip before resuming the ascent to the finish line.
Judah climbs the final sets of switchbacks on our short but steep climb to Hwy 20.
Within moments of our arrival at the parking area on Highway 20, Dr. H pulled in with a few coolers full of cold drinks and fresh fruit.  We tallied our wasp stings: 21; and our blisters: 5.  Sipping soft drinks and relaxing in the shade, we celebrated the moment and took our time making our way into the big maroon van for the 90 minute ride home.  An obligatory stop at Birdsview Burgers satisfied our cravings for sweets, then off we sped toward showers and civilization.
Mission accomplished.
Caleb with his dad, our driver for the ride home
Cold drinks and fresh fruit, a welcome out gift from our driver, Dr. H
Last stop: Birdsview Burgers for old fashioned milkshakes
Cross 2 Ross 2013: 

1 comment:

Crystal in Lynden said...

Congratulations! Your 50 miler was a 100 times more difficult than my summer biking 70 miler in BC.