A Brief return to winter

Posted by Ken Campbell April 6, 2010 0 Comment 832 views

The fire wood we brought burned up pretty damn quick. At least, I thought so.

It was a cold evening following a wet afternoon. We made it to the washout at the end of the Dosewallips River Road, about 10 miles in from Highway 101, by 3:00 PM. The sun that had warmed our backs as we left T-town turned into a cool mist, then into the steady rain of winter by the time we got to our destination.

Much more snow on the ground than I would have thought. I guess I just don’t think of the end of the road as being all that elevated, but it must be high enough.

We had to cross another washout about a mile before the road end. Water cascaded down a steep ravine, bisecting the roadway and leaving a valley of gravel and boulders a hundred feet wide. Although it was obvious that other vehicles had come before and had safely negotiated their way over, the sides of the creek were steep and soft, and it took us a few minutes to decide to cross. She made it easily, no worries.

It’s good to have the van back and running again. We have all missed it.

No need to be concerned about what the boy would think when he finally got to see the end of the road. (He’s been looking forward to being there for months now.) He was impressed, I think, as he took in the scale of the destruction, the carving away of the entire hillside and the other end of the road dangling 300 feet away across the chasm. We hiked the trail up and around the break, then backtracked to the western edge of the road to see where we had come from. There was snow all over the ground and the rain began to fall with more vigor.

It turns out that the boy’s “rain jacket” isn’t all that waterproof. When we got back to the van and took it off of him, we found that his hair was soaked and the inside layers of his clothing were no longer dry. Mary got the wet togs off of him as he shivered, and smiled, on the lower bed. The temperature had dropped as the daylight had faded, and we all layered up as dinner was prepared.

As he shoveled a spoonful of mac’n’cheese into his mouth, while the rain pattered on the pop top, while we could see our exhalations in the cold night air of the van… on an evening when most sensible folk are home and dry, the boy turned to his mother with a cheesy grin and said, “‘S’pretty good night to go camping,” then turned to look out the window again.

This morning came in clear and frozen White peaks in the sun and the snow line about 500 feet above our camp. The robins were everywhere, their loud whistles bouncing off the crisp air.

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