Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lacamas Park Revisited

This afternoon my sister Pam and I decided to take a hike around Round Lake.  We left a little after one o'clock, intending to be home by 2:30, as we both had a to-do list a mile long.

By 1:45, we had begun our journey and were marveling at the warm late October sunshine

Somehow, although I must have walked this trail dozens of times, I never noticed this sweet little peek-a-boo tree!  I had to take a photo!

I asked Pam if she'd ever been to the Potholes before.  She didn't recall, so we took a little detour off the main trail.  They were beautiful in their mossy coat.

I said, "Let's keep going for awhile up this trail," which was rock strewn and cobbled with tree roots.  Probably not the best trail for me to be on, but I was overcome by the opportunity to get out in nature.

As we meandered along, I snapped this photo of a tree with ferns bursting out of the trunk, as far up as I could see!  

We snapped a photo of the two of us, smiling, enjoying our time together. The weather was stunningly perfect, no breeze, and sunny skies.

Before long, we emerged from the side trail at a crossroads, with a sign I'd seen before. I'd forgotten where this particular trail ended, and we realized that we had gotten quite a bit further along, and away from Round Lake, than we had expected.

Somehow, we convinced ourselves to take a lower trail along the creek,
 and that would be the correct direction. 

It wasn't. We ended up way south of the lake, heading uphill.

We began climbing and climbing, and climbing some more.  Twice, we turned back, then turned around again,  coming back to where the second trail had ended.  We were feeling a little lost, even though we knew that sooner or later we'd end up somewhere, just not necessarily in the same area as we had started from.  Pam called her husband, a Camas boy, who wasn't much help.  (We were surprised to have cell service!) So, we kept going, huffing and puffing, and now sweating quite profusely.  We were a couple of sorry souls, and hadn't passed any other people for over an hour!  (This is typically a busy park, by the way!!)

Pam finally said, after nearly 2 hours (from the beginning), "Let's pray!"  So, we did!

As you might expect, about 10 minutes later we saw two people fly by in front of us on bicycles, on what was surely a road or path.  We were too late and far away to hollar, but we excitedly picked up the pace to see if there was a sign.  There was, but it wasn't much help, (and I forgot to take a picture!)  It told us that back the way we came was the loop to the Lower Falls (we weren't going back) and if we went left it was "Access Road" and right was "Crown Road".  

I was pretty sure we should go toward the Access Road, but Pam said she thought she could hear cars from the Crown Road and voted for that direction. She was all for finding the road and calling one of our husbands to come rescue us.  

Instead, I called my daughter, Jessica, who I was certain could tell us which way to go from the sign, but Jess didn't answer her phone.  I texted "HELP! Seriously lost!"  Hoping she'd answer, but no luck.  Just about then, two people came toward us on bikes from the Crown Road direction and we waved them down.  I asked, "What is in that direction?"

The man answered, "Not much, a white gate and a small parking area."

We explained that we had gotten away from our original path and wanted to return to Round Lake and the parking lot.  He directed us to go straight on the Access Road (which I knew already, but refrained from telling Pam, "I told you so!")

And, away we trudged, grateful to be going in the right direction, but still a good distance from the car. 
Eventually, we came to the following sign, showing us that we were definitely on the right trail.

It's too bad the sign doesn't show the elevation.  When we had finally seen the two folks on bikes, we were almost to the Parking area at the bottom of the map. What had begun as a quick hike around the lake, (which takes about 40 minutes on slow days!) ended up being nearly 3 hours.  

Jess called me back just as we were passing back over the little dam. She didn't seem too surprised that we managed to find our way back.

We got our exercise, had a good chat, enjoyed the fresh air and what will likely be the last good "hike" for awhile.  I just hope my sister is willing to go with me again.  I have this affinity to see what's around the next bend,  and it can take me places I don't expect at times.  I'm not in the best physical shape at the moment, but I'm in no worse shape than when I started out on this little journey today.  My new knee is working very well! (Except for the downhill . . . but it's working!)


  1. Wow! When you mentioned your little "hike" on my blog, I didn't expect this. You do know you are lucky to be able to do this much AND not have a sore knee afterwards? Or did you? I cannot hike downhill without my trekking poles, my knees won't take it. And I have both of my original ones, Sandi!

    But that said, kudos to you for making it back and having had such an excellent adventure! :-)

  2. If you keep up hiking like this trip you'll be in the shape of a super model! I'd say your knees are doing great if you can keep up walking a rough trail for 3hrs..good going! Remember when you thought this would never happen? Your pics are beautiful and they remind me of a little place here called Mohican National Forest..looks very similar! Have a great week!

  3. I could have written this story, as a matter of fact, I had planned on doing so. Last spring my dear friend and I walked a trail, made a wrong decision and 3 hours later joyously found our way out of the woods, but no place near our car. We called family and no one answered. We made a decision to walk north, which was uphill, and 45 minutes later found our car. Next time we will take a GPS with us. We did 9 miles that day and I am glad to say that I did not die.

  4. What a beautiful trip with a happy ending. I'm glad you didn't get too lost. I love it when prayer works quickly!

  5. I'm so happy to read about your hike. You must be doing much better. Weren't you just thrilled to walk with no pain? I know my husband was.

    I have serious directional problems. I get lost all the time. It can be very scary. I'm gad you found your way.

  6. How cool that you could take such an unexpectedly long hike! And how lucky that you had good weather and good companionship.

  7. Dear Sandi, when I think of where you were--health-wise--back in July and the trek you just accomplished, I find myself once again amazed at the resilience of our human bodies. What an adventure! And as Friko says, "All's well that ends well."

    Peace as ever and always.

  8. What an adventure! Getting lost is part of the journey sometimes.

  9. Oh I so feel for you Sandi!! I am just starting to do serious walking. The husband and I walked for a good two or three hours last Saturday.
    I don't know about you but I am very sore and VERY tired the next day!! But it is getting better and thats good. It sounds like we are both on the right track, no pun intended!
    Love Di ♥

  10. New follower! Sweetheart, I'm in my early thirties and you made me cringe at the thought of hiking! You're amazing! Keep up the good work! I'll sit here on my butt and read all about your adventures! LOL

  11. What a grand adventure this was! You've made me want to check out the trail. I'm like you: I love to try out the side trails, to see what's just over there. I'll go hiking with you any time you need a buddy. So glad to hear your knee is working well. I love your spirit, my friend.

  12. Wow Sandi - you have come so far from the frustrations of your knee healing after surgery when you first started this blog. I bet you thought you would never see such progress. Congratulations!
    My husband and I had an experience like this in Tasmania. What was supposed to take 2 hours around a lake took 4. We've never forgotten the sheer effort involved in a very rugged terrain.
    Loved the photo of you and your sister - cute!


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