Pine Creek

June 21, 2012 In the morning I packed up and took the road to the east. After a mile of so there was a road that went to the south that probably went towards Cleveland but my goal was to see the horse heaven hills. I felt hungry for a real meal but the nut gruel was sustaining me! After a while of hiking I came to my first functional fence and a locked gate. I had come at least 10 miles and I had crossed no fences, that in it’s self was pretty darn amazing, just the kind of country I like! It is demoralizing and an affront to the spirit of the western frontier that locked gates have to exist. But I understand that there have been a few people; that start forest fires, poach game and destroy cabins and logging equipment that have ruined it for the rest of us. I would sure like to see that change!
With this kind of a greeting I left the road and took off cross country diagonal to the NE, hoping to intersect Pine Creek. I did bring a portion of the latest county road map, just in case I had to text in my location and to give me a rough idea of where I was.
I crossed a partially downed fence and eventually came out in a clear cut, then walked down an old logging road that led to Pine Creek. I was never so glad to see running water again! I hadn’t seen this much water since I left Rock Creek! This water ran over clay it seemed not rock because it was not crystal clear in fact slightly cloudy but excellent drinking water and I had my share! And there were big pines all along the creek, at least where I found the creek. Some of the pines were 3 and 4 foot in diameter! The sun was shining so I rested there and looked around and found where a bear had scraped up a number of queen boletes, I found a couple of small ones and watched a pine squirrel eat some scraps of mushrooms the bear missed.
Feeling very satisfied that I had got some where significant on the map and near water; I filled up my water jug and trudged on. I hiked down stream until the road split and I took the north fork which was the main road. Before I left the creek I took a bath while the sun was still warm. This was now the 21st of June and I heard a rumor while I was at the Ranch that there was a solstice party somewhere in this area called the “slowstice gathering” I did not see any signs of its existence so I walked on. When the road became gravel I started seeing signs of smaller parcels of private property, with their accouterments of no trespassing signs, it does seem the new property owners are most prone to posting their property even if they are not living on it. The underline message I get from this is; “ I’ve got mine now, so you get lost”,
I had up to this point only seen the Horse Heaven Hills on a map and now I was here, and they did not disappoint me, somewhere in the distance I could see a distinct rock syncline that distinguished itself from the other many draws running north and south through the hills. My view of the hills appeared and disappeared as I walked along pine creek road. I was feeling a little weak and weary. I found a strap along side the road and rigged up a tumpline to take some of the weight off my shoulders and hips and that helped. Now I had a three point system; where the weight of my pack was evenly distributed on my head, shoulders and hips

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