Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gordon Lakes

Last week Travis and I went to Cascadia to get a little hiking in and visit my family. I decided we should do a hike to two small lakes known as Gordon Lakes. I haven't been there in years and only a couple of times ever. It's rad there even though my grade school principal died there while fishing about 20 years after I graduated from grade school. He died of a heart attack. It's very isolated there so there would be no immediate rescue effort for sure. Well, as they say, he died doing what he loved: fishing. By the way, if I die doing something that everyone thinks I love don't say "Seth died doing something he loved." Instead say "He died doing something he loved but he told us before he died that he would have rather not died at all at that point."

Here's to Mr. Riggs: a fair and just principal with strong principals. My fondest, yet scariest moment from grade school, besides when I dropped my carrot, is getting called to the principal's office after my 'friend' Daniel told on me because I gave him this ad I found on the sidewalk on the way to school that showed dildos. He was caught with it and couldn't keep his trap shut. Of course we were in 3rd grade or something so it's hard to keep your trap shut. When Mr. Riggs found out it was me that gave it to Daniel he decided not to call my parents because I was a good kid who never got in trouble. He could see the fear in my eyes. Man was I scared. I almost cried. I'm crying as I type this. Damn.

Our first stop was this awesome totem pole and mural in Lebanon. No, I don't know why it's there. I think the closest real totem poles to this spot are near BC Canada.

Next we stopped at Foster Lake just beyond Sweet Home. What a beautiful day to go to the woods and stand by a lake.

Up next we decided to take a quick detour and check out Green Peter Dam. Wow!

And beautiful Green Peter Lake! But these lakes were not our destination.

Here's a pic from Google Earth of the area we went to. You drive about 30 miles up hwy 20 past Sweet Home and take the House Rock campground exit. Then you drive about 5 and a half miles up this old logging road taking care to take the correct turns at intersections until you reach the end of one of the roads. Then you take a short hike to the first and second lakes. Fun!

Along the way there's this really pretty mossy waterfall just off the road that looks like it should be March or June. Travis washed his hands here. It sure was cold!

It was so pretty and the greens were so stunning I decided to do that color trick we all do a few times when we first get a camera that does it. If Ansel Adams could have picked one color for his pictures this is what they would have looked like. I'm not sure of the name of this creek but the bridge is called 3 Creeks Bridge. I only saw one creek though.
Maybe One Creek Bridge was taken.

As you can see as we got near the end of the road we ran into a little snow. I kept thinking the end was right around every corner but it never was and eventually the car just started spinning it's wheels because of the slope of the road. No problem. I'll back down and park. That didn't work to well. Snow built up under the car and lifted the front wheels off the ground. Travis and I spent an hour or so digging the car out. Maybe I should have brought the 4 wheel drive Subaru? I didn't expect there still to be snow! But I think this part of the road is probably near 3000 (edit: I checked and Gordon Lakes are at 3850 fee) feet in elevation. After we dug the car out we decided to hike to the end of the road. On a side note, this is the second time snow has thwarted my attempt to get to these lakes. The other time was in 1995ish with my brother.
We hiked for maybe an hour or so and every corner I was sure was the end of the road. It never was. Because of daylight concerns we turned around in defeat. Next time! By the time we turned around there was so much snow I don't think my Subaru would have made it either.

Here's a closer in picture of where we were. The yellow line represents driving. The pink dot is about where I think we got stuck. The blue dot is where I think we may have parked. The red line is hiking. The question marks represent where I think we turned around. We stopped after rounding a corner and seeing another tremendously long steep straight stretch which broke our will to continue. There are two question marks because I'm not sure where we exactly we turned around but I think it might have been one of those two spots. And as you can see- the beautiful lakes just beyond our reach!

Here's a picture I stole from the internet. That's what it would have
looked like if we would have made it. Awesome!

Although we didn't make it to the lakes, we did have a fun adventure. We capped our trip with a stop in Sweet Home at Los Dos Amigos. What a treat! We'll get the lakes next time!


RolandBV said...

Fuck, Cascadia is a temperment lady! I have a strong feeling that The Lazy Hiker will seriosly dom all the projected missions ahead this Spring and Summer. I, for one, am willing to do any and everything within my power to help!

Travis said...

Good times man, the whole time I thought it was you farting when it must had been all those leprechauns!

Me said...

This is by far your best post ever, and I share the same philosophy about death. No matter what I was doing, even if it was something I loved, I absolutely did not want to die doing it and in the seconds before I died I was absolutely fucking pissed off about my life and wished I wouldn't have been doing what I was doing.