Or were they? I began to step over a stick, when it moved! Eeek! I was straddling a rattlesnake! Instinct took over; I jumped over the snake and ran. Another close call, disaster averted.
Giggling to myself, because you have to admit that if someone had been watching it would have been quite humorous, I headed along the trail, which parallels the sparkling, beautiful Wenaha Wild and Scenic River. A huge fire roared through here in 2017, and the area is recovering. Still, I could see where the fire had burned with such intensity that no trees had survived.
It's 6.5 miles to the Crooked Creek bridge, but there is no bridge anymore. It was a casualty of the fire and has not been replaced. The water was too high to cross safely, but I had my sights on a sandy beach I had camped at before. Arriving, I was dismayed to see that the river had broken free of its usual bank and this area was inaccessible too. Lack of a bridge has changed the visitor use patterns and the old trail has fallen into disrepair. There are a few campsites, obviously used, back in the trees, but dead snags lean over them menacingly. I don't risk those types of sites.
I decided to backtrack; surely I would find a campsite. Only, every place flat and near the river was guarded by more dead trees. I didn't mind much; it was such a beautiful day to hike. My hike ended up being about 12 miles before I found a suitable spot in the pines.
|A perfect campsite|
No other snakes appeared, and to my relief, the ivy wash I used worked. A tick, unnoticed, embedded itself into my skin, though. I froze it (always good to do in case you get a rash; these can be tested), but so far no rash either. I felt lucky; everything had gone my way. Just 24 hours away from the rest of the world was enough to last me for a little while.