Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In History!

What a day!  I'm too tired to get into everything, but wanted to mark this day with at least a blog that says that this fine cool Birthday-Eve was one that must go down in the history books as one the most insane ones.  Besides the crummy part that occured, I had a blast!  There will be more to follow very soon I assure you, but I must get up very early to try again for a trip out to the beach.  What a fantastically great day! : D 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Adventures in Geocaching

About a month ago, 3 friends and I went geocaching up on some remote logging roads for the first time a little West of Longview.  The air was quite chilly as I ran down the stairs in response to the honking jeep in the parking lot. Excitement and curiousity filled my mind by how far out and remote we would be from civilization along these little treked roads. My roommate, Kyle, and I quickly climbed in the vehicle. I greeted his father, Avery, and brother, Connor, and so our story begins. Who would have known how much adventure waited for us up in those hills.

 As we entered through the blue logging gate, I was full of excitement and wonder thinking about what those big hills I see from a distance all the time look like up close. We treked higher and higher until we found the road that lead to the first cache of the day. This initial hiding spot we were headed to was near a very shallow man-made lake. We scavenged ever single inch of old log and lifted up rocks looking for the hide.  For over an hour we throughly searched every crevice imaginable to only find a red chewed up dog toy we at first thought could have been the cache. It turned out to be just some sad dog's lost toy.
Standing along the road, I took this picture from one end of the lake.

As I walked along to the lake's end, I found a site that was reminiscent to Leonard Springs Park in Bloomington, IN minus all the evergreens.  I stood there for a moment and let my mind drift back in time and imagine this being the very same hiking spot I've loved for so long.
The lake
Leonard Springs
It seems to me there are so many different types of lichen in the North West and they thrive on just about anything.  A tree limb of course is no exception, but I liked  the faint patinaed color contrasting the darker natural brown of the branch.
After a while of searching, we finally gave up on finding our first cache of the day. So we began our descent  back down the logging roads to our next geo-destination only to find a very large road block.  They were just finishing up, so it didn't take too long for us to get back to our cache hunting. 
Driving along, I was amazed at the contrast of dense forest and bare hillsides all on the same rise. 
One of the routes we took lead us among giants who watched as Avery changed a flat tire we had acquired.
Yay for flat tires in the middle of the wilderness!
Finally, we were back on our way.  As I walked up to the cache site, I was amazed at how clearly we could see Mt. St. Helens. How awesome!
After the cache was found, we took in the beautiful view we found through the trees. We were approximately 2,200ft up looking towards the Columbia River when I took this picture.  I didn't include a picture of where the cache is located because it'd spoil it for those that haven't found it yet. I did take a few for my personal viewing.
As we walked back down the road, I had to take another picture that had a better close up of the big celebrity.
 As we headed back off the hillside, we took a look at another great view not far from the road leading to the previous cache.  In the horizon, we realized we could see Astoria, OR.  Even further along was the Pacific.
In the distance was mound after mound of green lush wilderness.
All 3 processes of logging are seen in this photo.  We can see the ripe aged forest, recent remnants of a logging expedition, and the regrowth of a forest.
Soon, we will see ourselves down the same road as the truck down the hill.
Look closely.  You can see a faint misty Mt. Hood in the background to the left.
I loved the hue of the dirt and you get to see a logging machine at work to the right.

 A little farther along, we became a little lost down a  wrong turn.  As long as the way went down, we knew we were ok.  Yet to add to our small worry of finding civilization again, the tire Avery changed descided to contribute to a little bit more to out suspensful ride when it popped. Through winding roads we treked passing only on person who wouldn't stop for us to ask which gate we'd be coming out of.  Further we came until we saw the blue glint of a gate and past that beautiful sign of the beginning of the world we came from was the hint of black pavement! 

The Jeep with it's second flat tire..
Wow.  We drove on that.
As we waited for rescue from Kyle's grandparent's and mom, this very friendly dog kept us lots of company.  Many times he had us throwing a stick and petting him.  He was just glad to have some friends to play with! Too bad we didn't keep that chew toy.  We could've gave it to this guy!

My adventure out in the logging wilderness was quite fun and I can't wait to find myself out exploring some more of the great wild backyard I have all round me.  Next time, I'll have a better idea of what I'm getting into, and I'll be sure to pack a few extra spare tires on my back just in case.