Monday, August 15, 2011

Mesatchee Creek (3 miles)

Three miles? We drove east 1.5 hours one way to hike only three miles?! Not intentionally, no. But sometimes nature plays tricky tricks on hikers.

It started off beautifully along the deserted, flat, sun-dappled trail. Perfect temperature, too.

The first obstacle was Morse Creek.

What does that sign behind me say? Bridge closed? Something about a broken stringer on one side and the possibility of collapse. Hmmm.

Do I look terrified? It seemed pretty stable until Zuli trotted out, then it started to bounce up and down a bit. I did not like that very much, but the warnings seemed more geared towards horseback riders rather than those of us on foot.

See? Not scary! Still, we took turns making sure not to be on the bridge together.

Seriously? Obstacle #2, the American River. Look across. See the trail over there? In the middle, the river was easily three feet deep, and there was just no way we were going to get ourselves, our backpacks, and Zuli (who can't swim) across without making the rest of the hike miserable or getting hurt. We were kicking ourselves for not bringing the new water Tevas I got us just last week because if we'd had them, we most likely would've attempted the crossing. We walked up and down the river's edge in both directions to see if there was a better fording place, but no such luck. Obstacle #2 proved to be our undoing.

All was not lost, though. It was such a pretty day, we were both in really happy moods, and turning back just wasn't upsetting at all. On the walk back, we found a bunch of wild strawberries for a tasty treat. This seemed to spark an idea in The Big Guy...

Instead of having the pb&j's in our packs, we headed a bit further east to Whistlin Jack Lodge and had some delicious burgers. We ordered the ones that came with bacon and ham but saved the ham for Zuli and took some home to Otter as his reward for guarding the house while we were gone.

I just love a day when not everything goes right but everything is still all right. Delicious burgers don't hurt, either.

We'll go back soon to this trail, and if the Morse Creek bridge hasn't collapsed by then, I'll have another tale to tell, hopefully not involving falling in the river.