Monday, July 9, 2007

"This road may be seasonally closed" - or, The Best Laid Plans, rent-a-car version

Helen and I decided to spend the first couple of days of our Seattle vacation in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.

So, we flew in to SeaTac, rented a PT Cruiser, and headed off on the already long route...

Some of these roads were marked in the atlas as being subject to season closings. We figured that 'seasonal closing' meant closed in the winter, but open in, say, July.

This is the route we wound up taking.

Route 123 was out. Apparently when the snows melted, a lot of the road wasn't there anymore.

Meanwhile, a lot of the snow hadn't melted in the goat rocks, so when we got there, trails that usually look like this

Looked more like this!

Ok, so I'm exaggerating, but it wasn't what I'd expected. And we did have to drive down to a different entrance. So, yeah, a lot of driving, not a lot of open trail.
That said, there were some great views and it's a really cool part of the country. But what was supposed to be a 10-mile trail run turned out to be far different. We couldn't do the loop we planned. There were a lot of places where we were just following footprints to know where the trail was. Walking on snow in our shorts and running shoes, no food... I wasn't scared, but I was thinking that if anything happened, there would be a big old "these are the things they did wrong" discussion. No one knew where we were, didn't have provisions, etc.
But we did have a whistle.

Anyway, no blaming gmaps for this one. I could have called the rangers' office myself. Oh well.
But I'm glad Helen got to see it. As she pointed out, some of the areas are really the sort of thing that you see photographed in Runner's World or Outdoor Magazine.

When we got to Seattle, we came across this article about getting lost in the wilderness:

Seeing as everything turned out well, I'm glad that we went hiking/trail running before reading that!

1 comment:

Helen said...

Even though it tested our survival smarts a little, the trail run was absolutely beautiful and enjoyable. Once we climbed up to a certain point, we're above the trees and some mountains and the sky opened up. We could see the three volcanoes in Washington, St. Helens, Rainier, and Adams. They look magnetic. The scenery of the Goat Rocks was worth every hassle we encountered to get there.