June 20, 2012
I felt better in the morning so I hefted on my pack and walked on. I was heading east now along the top of the Simcoe ridge. I angled into a road that runs along the edge of the Yakima Nation. (This is exactly the kind of road in exactly the kind of land where I would love to take my horse and cart!) After about a mile it occurred to me; I would not have enough water to make it to Pine Creek so I stashed my pack and started exploring a timbered draw to the north. Nothing, even with the usual willows, that had been an indicator species. I looked in some other likely places but no surface water. I took a long rest then decided to follow a timbered draw to the south. It was too easy going down and I went as far as I thought was practical considering my energy reserves and still no water, so the only logical solution to my predicament was to go back to the headwaters of Dairy creek where I knew there was water. So that is what I did, it was still a long hike of necessity.
While I was resting there at the spring I realized I needed to pack more water some how. So I rummaged through my possible bag and found a gallon zip lock bag, it had a hole in it but I had a thin grocery store plastic bag about the same size. So I doubled them, filled it with water and now I had two gallons.
Once again I felt very fortunate to be saved by something as flimsy as a plastic bag. Eventually when I returned to my pack, I reinforced the extra water with yet another plastic bag as I had lost some to leakage, and continued hiking east headed slightly down hill now. I was pretty tired by having used up a lot of energy getting water.
As I was walking along near the boundary of the Reservation I noticed some bare foot horse tracks it looked like three horses, free of riders and their tracks seemed to be with out any man made direction?
I saw a rock out cropping off to my right so I walked out there and realized it looked man made but very old. It was not very high and about 10 feet across. From this flat rock circle, for the first time anywhere so far, on my hike, I could see what looked like a hundred miles, in four directions, to the SW the SE the NE the NW. I had the distinct feeling that I was standing on an ancient boundary marker or a place where the native people had used to send smoke signals. Stumbling onto a place like this gave meaning to all my efforts.
Not far from this place I made my camp near a “Y” in the road. No fire, it was entirely too tinder dry. I could hear a truck with a V8 engine in the distance rumbling around the back roads to the north and sometimes it seemed to get closer but I was spared any encounters with unknown humans. There was a bird sounding in the night, it seemed like it was in flight and it kept up its sounding far into the night? Also for the first time the mosquitoes were starting to annoy me. Oddly enough out here where there is very little water?
June 20, 2012