Mt. Gauldy P1K

Fri, Aug 18, 2017

With: Jackie Burd

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Continued...

Jackie and I had to be in Portland by noon to pick up Mom from the airport. With this constraint, it left us unable to do something more prominent like a county highpoint or a P2K in the hills along the Oregon coast where we planned to hike. I ended up settling for a P1K in Tillamook County that we could do in a couple of hours and still have enough time to drive to Portland. We spent the night camped along Forest Road 15 off SR22, only a few miles from our trailhead. In the morning we drove the remaining distance, easily finding the old, unused logging road forking off towards the summit with the help of the GPSr. We parked and started off at 7:40a but didn't get very far. The old road was terribly ovegrown at the beginning where it is bermed and Jackie wisely decided to switch from shorts to long pants to save her skin some trouble. It was a very different hike from the forested one we'd done a day earlier in a drier part of the state. Here, the abundant water from Pacific storms has created a temperate rain forest with the attendant undergrowth in typical overdrive. Ferns, vines, grasses and flowering plants thrive here, creating a beautiful landscape that would just as soon trip you up as let you enjoy its charms. Ironically the road got better soon after starting out but I don't think Jackie regretted the switch to long pants. A faint use trail formed in the roadbed showed it gets some traffic, most likely by hunters during the season. We spent most of an hour hiking the 1.8mi of roadway to its closest approach of the highpoint, after which we had some thrashing to do. The summit is located less than 1/5mi from the road but we were rebuffed in several first attempts to get through the brush. Seeing that I wasn't going to give up so easily, Jackie decided she didn't want to get to the summit badly enough and would wait for me at the road. I pressed on through some heavy brush and large downfall to eventually emerge at a surprisingly open summit area among the trees. The views were weak but not entirely absent and I even found an easier way back down to the road. When I reported this to Jackie (who I found wrapped in makeshift headscarf to ward off bugs) she was eager to return with me to the summit (there is one stretch of maybe 20yds of thick brush with a use trail that we had to plow through), finding the open, sunny grass slopes quite a contrast to the dark, brooding road we'd followed through the forest. We left a register at the highest point before returning to the road. Knowing our time was limited and we might be challenged in getting to Portland on time, Jackie led us back down the road at a much faster pace, taking just over half an hour to return to the van by 9:20a. Despite some traffic congestion as we neared the city, we made it to Portland with time to spare. Now to figure out where to watch the eclipse...

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Skip in Carson City comments on 08/24/17:
Bob... so great you can spend such fun time with your daughter.
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