Oak Flat Creek

August 19, 2012. Rick told me stories of the area and experiences he had had here when he was a kid and then told me some violent stories of some events in Alaska involving boats and guns and killings. All true stories. After he left I was wondering what kind of vibes that was going to bring in to this camp here so exposed along a road next to a gate with no trespassing signs. This was not my idea of a good campsite.

I had to push the cart into some bushes and slept in the only level spot right next to the road. Sometime in the night a couple horses came down and huffed around and got us excited and then ran off and did not return. I got back to sleep and about 3; 30 am the CountySheriff pulls up. I set up in my sleeping bag whip on some pants and introduce myself he opened his car door and we shook hands. That is how close to the road I was!

Once he figured out what we actually were he seemed to relax. He said his name was Dave and I asked him if he was on his nightly patrols and he said no, he had got a call about a domestic dispute on Saxton Bane and decided to go back to Goldendale via Oak Flat Road. He asked me a couple of times if I was going to leave in the morning as if he had forgotten if he had asked me that, or not,  already. I reassured him I was going to probably be leaving early.  In spite of the fact Dave was friendly and even impressed with my outfit. One can not simply be wandering around without being under general suspicion! So we said our good nights and I did not sleep well after and another car came through early in the morning.

August 20, 2012. After leaving Oak Flat Creek we pulled a pretty steep hill and up on the flat land a cool breeze was blowing. We turned East on the Bickleton high way and just as I turned onto Old Mountain Road, A women in a pick up truck on her way to work stopped to talk. She told me she had farmed with horses but got hurt and had to give it up for the time being. She invited me to visit if I needed to use her corral. Another act of kindness to a traveler using a horse and cart!

Taboona was highly motivated when we got to Badger Gulch, she now, knew her location! So we plodded on into Ekone. I pulled into my camp site and unhitched and was glad to be off the roads, for a spell.

I stayed at the Ranch for another week trying to do my best to fulfill my volunteer status and spend some quality time with my daughter, Kya at the Klickitat County Fair where she was participating, but mostly I planned for my return trip to TroutLake, except this time I would have a passenger! Caitlin Jones had decided to make the trip with us!

Caitlin has been a participant at the Ranch for many years;  first as a Camper then as a Counselor. After working with her for two years during Wilderness Week I have nick named her the “Rock” for her amazing talent of  wrangling Kids, ( Campers)!

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