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SANDY'S JOURNAL: 1985 CREST TRAIL RIDE

CONTINUED


Saturday, June 29: Mom, Connie, Roy, Elmer, Pat, her daughter and her daughter's spouse, Mike, Roy's son, Connie, Mike's spouse, and I left home for the Yoncalla rodeo grounds. Roy had some friends down at Yoncalla, Oregon who made arrangements for us to stay there. The people were very hospitable and gave us the whole arena to use. We each had corrals for our horses. It was real nice place for camping. People were working on the corrals getting them ready for a rodeo the next weekend. We went out to a little restaurant at Rice Hill for dinner that evening. The meal was not very good!


Sunday, June 30: We tried the Rice Hill Truck stop restaurant for breakfast. Then we drove to Mt. Ashland Road about ten miles south of Ashland, Oregon. That was a close as we could get to the California - Oregon border. There was a gravel area off the side of the road where the PCT crossed the road. We parked there and set up a tent. Connie, Mom and I slept in the tent. Roy and Elmer Dove slept under the canopy on my truck. Elmer, Connie and my Mom were driving my truck back home. Pat slept in her truck. Carol, Pat's daughter and her spouse slept in a tent, too. They were driving Pat's truck back. Mike and Connie drove Roy's truck back that night.

We found out that the spot where we were camping was private property, but the people who owned it said it was okay to camp there since we were heading out the next day. They said the area we were camping in was a parking lot for a restaurant that burned down years ago.


THE BRAIN
When Mother Nature calls, you have to abide by the call. So I hiked up over the hill. Coming back down I circled around another way, and I ran into this great big mushroom, called a Puffball. I called it "The Brain" because it looked like a big head, or the size of a volley ball. I have never seen one that big before. Later, I went back and took a picture of it.

That evening we all went down the road to Callihan's restaurant and had a send-off dinner. This time we enjoyed excellent food. The place had a PCT register for people to sign. We read the entries other people had written and then added our names to the list. We were the first to sign for 1985.


Monday, July 1: Mom, Connie and Elmer started breaking camp. They began by taking down the tent and everything else while Roy and I was getting our animals saddled. Roy and I took the horses out to stretch their legs because they had been tied to the trailers all night. We rode horses up a little road in back of camp, for just a little way then back. While standing around talking, Pat decided to take her horses out for a little walk.

My gelding, Sarid, started leaping and bucking. He kicked out, hit Connie and knocked her down. He hit her with the side of his legs, not with his hoofs. Thank goodness! Since he had all of that energy, Roy and I packed him first. We got him all packed and then started on my other two horses, Scooter and Valentine. When we finished packing them, we packed Roy's two mules, Gracie and Red. Since we had weighed and pre-packed the pack boxes, it only took us about an hour to get the five animals packed and ready. Pat was still getting her things together so Roy and I helped weigh and pack her boxes and then packed her horse. Finally, we were ready to begin the ride of all our dreams.

We went up the road in back of the camp and rode back down so my Mom and Connie could take pictures of us as we started out. This would provide a good long shot of our pack string, all nine animals. Roy and I headed up and sat there waiting for Pat to come up with her horses. Five minutes later, she finally joined us. We headed down the road toward our camp so they could get the pictures.

THE LINE UP

We said good-bye to everybody and headed out for the trail. A car came by us, and Sarid, who was on the tail end of my string, jumped sideways and there went his pack. We hadn't even hit the trail yet, and we had lost a pack already! The pack rolled over on his side. I hollered back to the trucks and Elmer and Pat's son -- in -- law came over. They held the horses while Roy and I repacked him. That's what you call getting off to a good start. We almost made it to the Pilot Rock area before having to re-pack Gracie. Her pack kept slipping off to the side. We found a fairly level place and got her unpacked, then repacked. Heading up the trail a little further we decided to stop because Scooter's blankets were sliding out from under her saddle. We decided we might as well have lunch, after re-packing her. We sat around looking at maps and talking about the trail and how things were going

We came upon our first trail register. It had different zones and you had to fill in which zone you were going through. If you were going through all four, you were to take the card with you to the last one. If not, you marked the zones you were going to and left the card there.

Some of our problems on the trail was water, and gates. These gates were hung wrong. You had to hold them up hill to keep them open. Trying to get four horses through doesn't work too well, when you're holding the gate up hill. I had to get off my horse to hold it open. The gates should be built so you can open them from horseback. After Roy went through, he pulled off the trail, in doing so he found a water trough behind a big log. After all nine animals drank their fill; the tank was almost empty. There was a little water running into it in order to keep it filled.

The book The Pacific Crest Trail (Volume 2 Oregon and Washington published by Wilderness Press) said it was going to be 21 miles to the next available water. This stretch was from Mt. Ashland Road to Little Hyatt Reservoir. Further into the chapter it mentioned there was a spring complete with water faucet in that same stretch. We did find, down off the trail, a spring -- fed tub that was fenced in. This was a couple of miles down the trail from the other tub where we had watered the horses. In this area we found all kinds of grass with a herd of cows nearby. We talked about camping there but decided to push on a little further as it was still early, around 3 P.M.. We rode a couple of miles more when Sarid decided he had enough. He planted all four feet and stopped. He was carrying the heaviest load of all the pack animals. They had about two hundred pounds apiece. That weight was too much for them, but by going the other two days up to Diamond Lake, they all had to carry heavier loads than we had originally planned.

We let the horses rest about 15 minutes and then started out again. An hour down the trail we came to a meadow. There were two women there who said it was five more miles to Highway 66 and three more to Little Hyatt Reservoir. We started out again but after about an eighth of a mile we decided to turn back to the meadow. The pack animals were just too tired to travel the eight miles to the Reservoir. We all were ready to quit for the day.


First Camp
There wasn't any water, but at least there was grass for the animals to eat. The only water we had to cook with was what we carried in our canteens. Roy had a gallon canteen, Pat had a quart and I had two, one-quart canteens. We had covered around 13 miles and it had been a very hot day.

Pat put up her two - person tent. Roy and I also had individual tents, but most of the time we just chose to lay a tarp on the ground. Then we threw another plastic tarp over the top of us to keep the dew off. The advantage was we could see the starry night.


Tuesday, July 2: Roy and I got up about 5 A.M.. I put my horses out to eat. I staked Sarid and hobbled Scooter, Val and Wayward, my saddle horse. Roy staked his saddle horse, Gin Fizz, and hobbled Gracie and Red. The meadow didn't have real thick grass, but there was enough for them to get something to eat. After Roy and I had been up for an hour, we hollered at Pat to get up.

Roy and I found out that the blue plastic tarps we put over our sleeping bags did not work very well because too much condensation built -- up on the bags, they were all wet on top. We spread them out to dry while we were getting ready.

After breakfast we repacked the pack boxes and weighed them. Then we started saddling the animals. We had all three of my horses packed and one of Roy's when Pat came over to help. After doing Roy's we did Pat's packhorse. We hit the trail, around 10:30 A.M.. We rode five miles when we came to Highway 66, and then three and a half more to the Little Hyatt Reservoir. We took some pictures of our pack strings crossing the bridge by the dam. I took one of Roy and his string crossing the bridge with the water falling over the dam in the background. Pat took a picture with my camera of my pack string crossing the bridge. Pat didn't get her picture taken because she didn't care to ride back over the bridge.

LITTLE HYATT RESERVIOR

We rode on past Little Hyatt Reservoir then Hyatt Lake Resort, then ten more miles to Howard Prairie Lake. A mile past the south end of Howard Prairie Lake we came to a canal. On the other side of the canal was Grizzly Creek where we made our second camp. There was plenty of water and lots of feed for the horses.

As before, Pat put up her tent. Roy and I slept under tarps again. This time we used my two canvas tarps for pack covers. They were light -- weight canvas that allowed air to go through so condensation didn't build up. Our sleeping bags were not wet in the morning.

We saw three deer that day. The weather was really good. It must have been in the 80's. We traveled about 15 miles.


Wednesday, July 3: Roy and I got up at five a.m. After putting the horses out in the grass to eat, we got things ready to pack up. Again, we had all three of horses and Roy's two packed before Pat even had her horses saddled. We finally got going around ten o'clock. The trail was blocked because of logging. We had to detour down roads, for three miles before we got back to the Crest trail. The problem again was long stretches with no water. The book showed a spring called the Big O, up toward Griffin Pass. The spring was a little way off the trail by the side of a logging road. We filled our canteens, then let the animals fill up. The next water was to be by Highway 140, which was another ten miles. At the Dead Indian Road we

Camp 3
discussed our options of either going by the Lake of the Woods Trail or staying on the Crest, which would take us through the lava beds. We decided to stay on the Crest. The weather was really hot, probably in the 90's. The trail was hot and dusty and in timber. We had been riding in timber for days, which prevented us from seeing any views. We found a little creek off the trail and decide to camp there although there was no feed for the horses. There was a little bit of huckleberry brush, so we let the horses pick at it. They were picking at it all the time going down the trail, but they wouldn't eat it when we let them. I fed my horses five pounds of grain that night. I originally planned four pounds per feeding, but since there was no grass, I fed each one an extra pound. The mosquitoes were very bad, especially by the creek. We saw two deer that day. We made about ten miles that day.



Starting into Lave Beds
Thursday, July 4: We had good weather. Roy and I got up at the usual time and Pat an hour later. I fed an extra pound of grain to each of my horses. After a mile and a half we started into the lava beds. It was really interesting to see the different formation of the rocks. It was fairly easy going on the first stretch. There was rotten wood mixed in with the lava rock that seemed a little easier on the horses' feet. We rode about an hour in this kind of trail with the rotten wood mixed in before it got hard on their feet. After three hours of riding their feet were getting sore.

After three hours the unusual landscape got a little boring. There were some sports that were very interesting. That was where we struggled to get around trees down across the trail. It is a little hard to take horses off the trail when you have holes all over the place. We got through it without getting any of the horses hurt.

Roy got sick going through the lava beds. I think a lot of it was because of the heat and the sun reflecting off the rocks. It was really hot going through there. When we got to Highway 140, we left the lava beds. We watered for the horses at a creek on the north side of the highway.

We camped at Freys Lake that was around a fourth of a mile off the Crest. There were two boys there when we arrived. They had not set up camp yet, so we asked them where they were going to camp so we could set up our camp away from them. They said we could camp anywhere we wanted to. They hadn't decided yet. We went ahead and set up camp. They camped right next to us, which was okay by us.

Their names were Eric Eckstein from Grants Pass and Jeremy Johnson from Williams, Oregon. We had seen them before when we firsts got to Mt. Ashland Road were we started from. They had started at the California - Oregon border and were hiking through Oregon to the Columbia River. They were also climbing some of the mountains on the way. They were very nice and we had a pleasant visit with them that evening.

There was a beautiful view of the lake with Mt. McLoughlin in the background. There was no grass at all for the horses. The trees went right down to the shore. This meant another night with no feed for the horses. Again I fed extra grain. I thought when we found some grass; I would cut back on the grain, so I would have enough for nine days. It was very nice there with the frogs singing us to sleep. We rode by our first snow on the trail that day. We had covered about 13 miles, and it must have been in the 70's, but in the lava beds it seemed hotter, like the upper 90's.

During the evening I told Pat that it was not up to Roy and me to do all the packing every morning. I felt she had some responsibility to help.

Pat said that, Roy's and my horses, weren't her responsibility. I said nothing more but decided that the next morning I would remove the extra 20 pounds of hers that Sarid had been carrying.


Friday, July 5: Roy was feeling better in the morning. He was still not too chipper, though. Pat did come over to hold our horses while Roy and I packed them. Afterwards, we packed her horse.

We ran into a lot of trees down on the trail. Scooter broke her breast collar going up a steep bank to get around one. When she got back on the trail, her saddle had slid back to her hips. We had to repack and repair the breast collar right there. It was very steep on the downhill side, which made it difficult to lift off the pack boxes, and find a spot to set them, down while fixing the breast collar. We got everything fixed and repacked, then headed on down the trail hoping to find some grass, since the horses hadn't had any to eat for a couple of days. We were still riding in timber.

We came across four men who were in riding for the weekend. They said they thought there might be some grass up by the Heavenly Twin Lakes. We decided to head there. To do so, we had to leave the Crest and go on the Oregon Skyline Trail. The Crest in the next section had some very high elevation that would have snow on them. We had talked about doing the Oregon Skyline Trail before we left on the trip to detour that area. Right after meeting the men, Mireeyah, Pat's packhorse, started limping on a front leg. We took the packs off of her and put them on Georgie, Pat's saddle horse. Then Pat rode Mireeyah, and as long as Pat rode her, she seemed to be okay. We headed up the Skyline Trail and ran into the same guys again at Deer Lake. They passed us while we were re-packing the horses. We tried one side trail to Lake Notasha to see if there was any grass, but no luck. So we went back to the Skyline Trail to head for the Heavenly Twin Lakes. There was no grass their, just timber all way to the lakes.

We camped by Little Heavenly Twin Lake. We turned the horses loose to pick at the huckleberry bushes. Roy ran into a Forest Service volunteer by the name of Shawn Layher from Sacramento, California. He was patrolling some of the lakes in the area. He said there is no grazing of animals allowed in the wilderness. He said we hadn't read the rule about the wilderness. Roy came back and told Pat and me what he had said. We moved the horses a little further from the lake. He didn't care if we tied them up by the potholes because most of them were stagnant. With all of the repacking of the horses we only made about 13 miles that day.



On trail to Devil's Peak
Mt. McLoughlin in back ground.
Saturday, July 6: This was another beautiful day. We rode by a lot of beautiful lakes on the Oregon Skyline Trail. We headed out toward Devil's Peak, the area where Wayne told us we might hit snow. We ran into snow on the way up. I had to stop and chop out some trees before we could get through. Pat refused to ride her horses across the snowfields. She turned them loose. Georgie, the one she was packing, ran onto the back of my string and went down off the side into the shale. She stayed on her feet. Mireeyah went over the side to be with Georgie. I went down over the side to get Georgie and lead her back up on the trail. They did not get hurt thank goodness.

We made it to Devil's Peak, but there was a big snow cornice on the north side. Roy and I looked it over. I thought we might be able to take the horses down over it if we unpacked them and then lowered the boxes on over it. We could then take the horses over one at a time. We decided to back track to the Seven Lake Basin Trail. This is the alternate route Wayne told us about. It was covered with snow also. You could no tell where the trail was. So I tied up my horses and hiked across the snow to see if I could find the trail on the other side of the basin. I was gone for a couple of hours. It was really rough going. I was thinking I would rather take the horses over Devil's Peak. On the way back I cut down lower to see if I could find a way across, but there were too many rocks and boulders. A horse would end up breaking a leg going that way. I was getting very tired coming back across the snow. I would go only a little way and then I would need to rest. When I got back, I told Roy and Pat that I would rather go over Devil's Peak than that trail. They were hollering for me, because I had been gone for so long. They wondered if I gotten hurt. There were all kinds of little tree's bent over in the snow that would pop up and maybe rip up one of the horses. They agreed no to go this way.

Pat and Roy wanted to turn back to the Cold Spring Campground to see if we could be hauled around to Diamond Lake, Let's head back, I said. This meant backtracking further than we had come.

On the way back across the snowfield Roy and his horse Fizz, went over the side. They did not get hurt. Thank Goodness! In the afternoon on the way back the snow had softened and was much more treacherous than it had been in the morning. Roy said when they went over, he couldn't quit sliding.

We met some people at Deep Lake on our way down and told them about our problem. They said they would give us a ride down to the Lake of the Woods to see if we could get Wayne Watson to haul us to Diamond Lake. That way we could get around Devil's Peak. The people at Deep Lake told us of another trail that might put us closer to the Diamond Lake area. If we went down the Cherry Creek Trail to that trailhead, we wouldn't have to be hauled so far. We headed on down looking for Cherry Creek Trail. We found the Nanny Creek Trail but not the Cherry Creek Trail. So we went on down to the Cold Spring Campgrounds. We got in around 8:30 P.M.. By the time we got unpacked and set up camp, it was dark. We got the horses tied up for the night and fed them extra grain, then cooked our dinner. Pat put up her tent. Roy and I slept under our tarps.



COLD SPRINGS CAMP

Sunday, July 7: It was mainly timber around the Campground. The water in the Cold Spring Creek was very good water. There was a little grass around the edge of the creek, but it was also boggy. We knew you were not supposed to have horses by the water, but when they have not had anything to eat for a couple of days, it is hard not to let them eat it. Down the road a little way, there was grass along the edges. I staked out my gelding, Sarid, and hobbled all the mares.

A couple with a big stock trailer had come in to go riding for a few days. The man said if we could not get anyone else to haul us, he would when they came back out. It would take him two trips to haul all nine animals. He gave us some names of other people to call to see if they would haul us out.

One of the hikers from Deep Lake, who said that he would give Roy a ride, came out around noon. He said they were having trouble making it out because on of them had a very bad leg. We offer to help. Roy saddle up his pack mule, Gracie, I saddle Fizz. Roy no more than got started when he met the hiker was coming out.

The hikers gave Roy a ride down to the Lake of the Woods and back, which was 42 miles round trip from Cold Spring. Pat wrote down the list of names of people to call that the other couple had given us. Roy was going to try to get Wayne first. While Roy was gone, Pat and I took baths and started washing our clothes. We were almost done when Roy got back. I offered to help Roy wash his clothes. Roy bought the hikers some gas and a six pack of beer for transporting him.

Roy said Wayne would haul us, for a dollar a mile. Wayne said he would be over Monday at 10 A.M.. With Wayne coming and the laundry done, the next day was a totally waste.


Monday, July 8: We all slept in a little. I staked Sarid out and hobbled the mares again to see what they could scrounge up to eat. I did feed them extra grain since we were going to be haul to Diamond Lake, the next food drop. We gradually packed our things, getting them ready for Wayne when he came.

A trail crew came in about 8 o'clock. There were two teenage girls and three teenage boys with a crew boss. They were carrying crosscut saws. The trail boss was a packer for the forest service. We told them there were quite a few logs to be cleared out. Then we talked with the crew boss about our problem of getting around Devil's Peak. We said that we were looking for the Cherry Creek Trail on the way out, but the only trail we saw was the Nannie Creek Trail. He said that it was a good thing that we didn't go down Cherry Creek Trail, because there was a bog on it that would sink our horses clean up to their bellies. He said that we should have taken the Nannie Creek Trail that would have put us further north. We should have taken out our maps and studied them before we rode all the way back down to Cold Springs, but you live and learn. The trail crew headed out to clear the trails.

We were sitting around waiting for Wayne to come. Shawn, the forest service person, came out for his days off, around 10:30 A.M.. When he came over to our camp, I asked him to go over and read the rules that were posted about grazing in the wilderness. It said horses must stay 100 feet from streams and 200 feet from lakes.

"Well, the Oregon Forest Service training session that I attended told us there was no grazing in the wilderness," Shawn said after reading that. He said he really felt bad because he had told a couple the day before that they couldn't grazes their horses either.

"We read our brochures on the wilderness, and somebody is telling you wrong," I said. He apologized and said he wasn't too happy about camping up there all alone.

When he was a Boy Scout, he was taught the rule was to have a companion with you when you are in the hills. The forest service sticks you out there by yourself. He couldn't wait for his ride to come and pick him up. He wanted out of the hills.

We sat around there and chatted and had lunch while waiting for our rides. We were beginning to wonder if something had happened to Wayne. A truck came in to pick up Shawn, around 3:30 P.M.. I asked them if they had happened to see a truck and trailer coming in this way.

Shawn's boss, said, "Wait a minute," is your name Sandy Wade? I may have a note for you. The note he gave me indicated that a call was received at 6:30 A.M., from Wayne, saying that his truck had broken down, so he couldn't make it.

"Boy, thanks a lot," I said. They could have sent this note in with the work crew that came in at 8 a.m. The other horse people who had said that they would give us a ride had come out earlier had left. We had told them that we had a ride that Wayne was coming for us.

We asked the forest service ranger if he would to give us a ride down to see if we couldn't get someone else to haul us. He stated they could not haul anyone in their trucks. The one forest service person who was in charge radioed down to their office. We gave him the name of Bill Weaver at Eagle Point. Their office got in touch with Bill Weaver. He would come in and get us that day. Then the forest service people left. We sat around waiting, but nobody showed up. We finally unpacking some things so we could cook dinner. It was about dark so we figured nobody was coming.


Tuesday, July 9: I got up that morning and told Pat and Roy that I was riding out, because there was no trailer coming for us. I started saddling my horses. Roy and Pat were really hesitant and didn't want to go. Roy was sure there was going to be a trailer coming to pick us up. They finally started getting their gear together.

We packed up and headed down the road. We must have gone down the road about five miles when we met a forest service truck coming in. We waved him down and asked if he had heard anything about the trailer their office had called about for us. We told him; we had been waiting at Cold Spring Campground, since yesterday. The ranger called down to find out what had happen. They had people going out to fight fires so it was hard for him to get through. He finally got through to his main office, and they told him they sent a trailer out to the Lake of the Woods. I imagine Bill Weaver was just a little mad, waiting for us at the Lake of the Woods, while we were sitting waiting for him at Cold Spring Campground. We happened to be 21 miles from Lake of the Woods. The forest service communication in Oregon leaves something to be desired.

We continued on our way down the road. It was about ten miles out on the gravel road (3458) before we got to the main highway 531. About a half a mile from the highway we found a pool of water off the side of the road. We watered the horses and decided to have lunch. We came across another forest ranger and asked him if there was a place where we might make a phone call.

"No problem," he said and threw his brief case that was sitting on the seat into the bed of the truck. He hauled Roy down to a little store at the Malone Spring Campground. While Roy was down their calling, he told the ranger to go, because he didn't know how long it would take. It was only a fourth of a mile back and he would walk it.

Pat and I kept all of the horses by the edge of the road that led into the campground. There was a little grass there the horses enjoyed eating since they hadn't had much to eat in the last four days. The ranger came back and talked to Pat and me until Roy came back. The other forest service people we had met earlier would not give us a ride. They said, they were not allowed to haul anybody in their trucks, but this ranger said these trucks belong to the people. They are the ones who pay for them.

"We can't haul people around all day in the trucks, but if there is an emergency, we can give them a lift," he said. This was the first forest service person that we met who was friendly.

Roy couldn't get hold of anybody to haul us. While there, he did get hold of his wife who broke some good news to him of a new filly born the day we left.

As we were riding down the road, there was a large lake on our right. It was the upper Klamath, but everything was marked "No Trespassing." The horses were getting a little thirsty because it was so hot out. Being by the pavement half the day didn't help either. It was about six p.m. when we finally found a gate on the left side of the highway that, did not have a "No Trespassing" sign on it. We opened the gate and went in to make camp for the night. It was another dry camp with just the water we had in our canteens. There was all that water across the highway, but we didn't want to be caught trespassing. There was a little bit of grass around. We went about 15 miles altogether.






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