Thursday, July 24, 2014

From Camp Pleasant to Home Sweet Home (Part 2)

Camp Pleasant was...well, pleasant. All the camps on this trail are very nice; with nice sounding names I might add. Two Bear is the only one with an even slightly scary name; unlike the camps on the Devil's Dome Loop. (the other consideration for my 5 day trip) Who wants to stay a night by themselves at "Nightmare Camp" or "Bear Skull"; not to mention "Devil's Pass" or "Hell's Basin". Can you blame me for begging my husband to come along? No, I made a good choice in switching my plan; one where I could look forward to feeling safe and sound at places like "Home Sweet Home" camp. 

So, as I was 'pleasantly' relaxing at my fire, I decided I'd better go introduce myself to the guys. I stopped at John's site first. He let me know he was intending to come with a friend who backed out last second, so he had hauled all the stuff in by himself...and when he said "all the stuff", he wasn't kidding! He looked like he was car camping; I've never seen anyone pack in so much crap. Two lanterns? But he was just a sweet local kid with a few days off work who only wanted to chill; most definitely not the "non-weirdo" solo hiker the ranger told me about. That must be the other guy...the one staring up into the sky with his hands in the air. I decided to wait until morning to say hello to him.
Where's your lounge chair, John?
I really didn't think he was some ax murder or something. I was scared of him for other reasons. When I think about it, I guess I assumed he would consider me a stupid tag along girl who didn't know what I was doing. "Wanna hold my hand while we cross the big bad river"...I mean, seriously; no. But even the thought of just introducing myself had me imagining him giving me the "don't you know I'm out here because I want solitude" look.

Though, when I finally got up my courage before heading out in the morning, I was relieved to find him as nice as the ranger said. He explained he hadn't backpacked in years because of his bad knee from a long ago motorcycle crash. It was acting up, so he didn't think he was going to be able to make it all the way to Home Sweet Home...and just when we were starting to make friends! Oh well; maybe I wouldn't be minding some solitude myself in such a cozy sounding little camp.
At the top of the first divide

Home is in need of some repair
When I finally pulled into Home Sweet Home, I was DONE. Getting over that first divide (4700 feet) from the Skokomish side is a real bitch. The fact it was pushing 90 degrees didn't help, I'm sure. I was dripping from every pore; I have never sweat like that in my life. But the camp was everything it promised to be; from the meadow of beautiful wildflowers, to the mountains all around, to the perfectly placed cluster of trees right in the middle--it was divine. And I had it all to myself! Heaven. I set my tent up in the shade, plopped myself down, and felt I might not move a muscle for several hours. Then the gang showed up.

I didn't have enough energy to poke my head out of my tent, but listening to them I guessed there were at least 5 boys who sounded to be no more than fourteen. They were so excited (loudly excited, and who can blame them) to use their new hammocks...and the only place to set them up was right behind my tent. I'm not kidding; I don't think there was even 15 feet between us. There was no way I could even fart unless I was prepared for roars of laughter. Ugh, this night was going to be endless.
My nice quiet spot; before the invasion
Post invasion
Long story short, I moved. I had one of the very helpful boys pick up one end of my tent while I had the other and we carried it all the way down the grassy field to the one spot away from the trees. You'll never guess who I passed along the way, illegally camped out in an 'undesignated' spot in the meadow.
My hiking buddy. See my tent in the distance?

"You made it!"...

I could tell he was as surprised as I was. The climb to get there was torturous; I can't imagine doing it with a bad knee.We both lamented about the hijacking of our supposed "home", but we were each pretty happy to have our somewhat secluded spots. He said he would most likely be heading back in the morning, so we said our goodbyes. I should have known better.

Part 3

No comments:

Post a Comment