Forest Road Hike

2020 Hike # ; 236

Hike Distance: 7.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 1168 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1808.6 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 265,183 feet

A wonderfully cool day, in the high 30’s, with clear skies and a stellar view of stunning snow-capped Mt. St. Helens! 🙂 The roads were clear of all people, and vehicles, and solitude reined supreme. We enjoyed all the good things this location had to offer, until issues arose. You almost couldn’t ask for more, but the day ended on a rough note.

We climbed up a tree covered hill, and I was getting very anxious, but didn’t know why. All appeared good until we came down the hill, and ran into a group of five wild horses! The horses didn’t respond to our waving, yelling, whistle or very bright light, and continued to block our road out of the area. Well, my wife played a nice selection of songs, on her smartphone, and we walked forward while singing at the top of our lungs, and off key. Thankfully, the horses decided this was the deciding factor and bolted into the trees, never to be seen again, but we did hear them. I will admit that this experience appears a bit amusing, but, horses in this area have been known to be aggressive towards people, forcing them to climb out of reach. This isn’t an acceptable option, and we were quick to exit the area, and get to a main road.

I know you’re asking yourself why we even go hiking in this area, or maybe your not? My quick answer is, the forested, and non-forested, lands are full of many animals. Most want nothing to do with people, and it’s rare to hear of a bad outcome, even with cougars or bears. We are very proactive in our preparation for most issues we could come across, and have chosen to take the risk. Personally, I would rather die out here in nature, than in a car accident or in a hospital, etc..

The biggest issue we experienced on this hike was when my right foot slipped on a branch that was buried under some leaves! Unfortunately, the top of my foot took a jolt, with some instantaneous pain. I had no problem walking back to the car, but know I would need to assess the situation. Long story short, I’ll be taking off however many days are needed to heal? Right now I’m writing this trip report with a cold pack wrapped around my foot. 😦

The last issue to mention, which could affect my hiking, in the near term, is that my shoulder has been in great pain. I had received a cortisone shot, for Calcific Tendonitis, about three months ago, and it was only effective for about two months. Basically, my shoulder feels as if something is torn. 😦 I’ll be seeing my Orthopedist, next week, to assess my shoulder, and possibly my foot if it still bothers me. We’ll see what he says, and hopefully it will heal over time? Obviously, I won’t be pursuing an MRI, physical therapy, or surgery, until a Covid19 vaccine is available to both of us! The good news is that I seem to be able to hike just fine, but can’t use a hiking pole in my right arm, and just let the arm hang by my side. This is probably the reason I slipped on the stick in the ground, since I wasn’t using my hiking stick for my right side. Ugh!

So, that’s all the news for now. I hope everyone is staying safe out there, and take care. I’ll give an update on my shoulder/ankle after visiting the Orthopedist.