Sep 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm #1294439
Last week, at the mid point of a week long backpack trip in Washington State's Goat Rocks Wilderness I encountered a mystery. Here's the mystery.
I took a detour down a very steep slope to get around a large snow patch that was blocking the trail in a remote area. It was tough going with the loose rocks sliding under my feet like marbles. About half way down in a small nest of low growing evergreens I started seeing gear. There were 2 freeze dried dinners that looked unopened, 2 empty water bottles, a mosquito net hat, a hanky, a brand new 50 foot roll of 1/8" nylon cord and a new looking fancy hiking stick with a leather strap.
I called out but there was no answer. Hmmmm. Has someone fallen to their death on the cliffs below this scary perch? Did a goat hunter sit here for awhile then leave all this gear? Did someone spill their pack at the top of the ridge and it all landed here? Nothing seemed to really fit. I took the hiking stick with me when I left the spot. I figured I'd report all this to the Sheriff to see if there was someone missing in the area. The stick was distinctive enough that relatives would know if it was the (imagined) missing hiker's stick.
On my last day of hiking I ran into a local guy who explained the mystery. Before you look at the answer (below) see if you can guess what happened.
I'm going to see if I can locate the people and return the hiking stick to them,,,,if they want it.Sep 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm #1915647
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Ouch…how scary!! Hopefully you can get it back to them. They'd probably like that!!Sep 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm #1915651
Of course they want it back! Good on you.Sep 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm #1915879
Is that the stick you were carrying when you walked by me between Goat Lake and Snowgrass Flat?Sep 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm #1915926
Yes it was the stick that belongs to the Oklahoma people who were rescued.
You wouldn't happen to know anything more about them to help me contact them would you?
My current plan is to send an e-mail, with photo of the stick, to the Sheriff and ask that he/she forward it to the couple. I'd include my e-mail so they could contact me if they want me to mail them the stick.
I feel kind of a kinship with them. We all went down the same venus flytrap of a detour around the snowfield. Didn't work out well for them and I was lucky. Such is fate.
DarylSep 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm #1915931
I know nothing
I've wondered what happens to people's gear when they get helicoptered out
Once in a while I'll see some gear somewhere that's obviously been abandoned – wondered what the story was
Maybe you could tell them exactly where their gear was, if they didn't already know.
I don't remember any snowfields that deserved to be detoured around. There was some snow as you get up to Old Snowy but a "trail" across it.Sep 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm #1915943
"I know nothing"
Neither do I but I digress. Back to the mystery.
"Maybe you could tell them exactly where their gear was, if they didn't already know."
I'm pretty sure the gear was where they bivouacked for the night but I'm not sure.
"I don't remember any snowfields that deserved to be detoured around. There was some snow as you get up to Old Snowy but a "trail" across it."
Yes, I went across the one below Old Snowy. The one I'm referring to is just north of the ridge connected to Hawkeye Point. The Lily Basin trail goes over the ridge heading north then runs into this snowfield within 100 yards from the ridge. It is very steep and one would be risking their life to try crossing it without an ice axe. On the way back from Lily Basin I found a much safer route…..at least until the guys started rolling rocks off the ridge down onto the trail.
DarylSep 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm #1915976
When I got to Goat Lake the wind started blowing strongly and it started raining so I turned aroundDec 18, 2012 at 8:08 am #1936290
I was able to contact the Oklahoma couple with the help of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office. The couple said they didn't want the hiking stick back but appreciated me contacting them. They weren't very attached to the stick because when they hike in locations far from home they typically buy a new hiking stick at the hiking destination so they don't have to carry it on the airplane.
They were surprised that anyone else had ended up in the same place that they had spent two nights after falling.Dec 20, 2012 at 8:51 am #1936899
You are in a dark forest.
North of you is the meadow.
The the south is a large reservoir.
To the west is a sharp decent. You cannot go down from there.
You look down and you see:
Take hiking stick.
You now have the stick.
You are now have:
The stick begins to glow a soft blue.
A troll appears,
Swosh goes the sword
Kill troll with stick.
Swosh, the troll just misses you.
Make troll eat dehydrated MH food.
Troll dies from salt overdose.
You return to the little white house on the hill.
Open the treasure chest and place hiking stick in case.
You now have 68 points of 14321Dec 20, 2012 at 10:50 am #1936938
Thanks for the point tally update. Wasn't sure where I was in the game.
DarylDec 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm #1936975
Next time just say "xyzzy".
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