Friday, September 2, 2011

Union Creek 6 miles

This week's hike took us back east of the mountains to Union Creek. There was no real destination such as an alpine lake or anything, but it was gray and a bit drizzly at home which is always a good reason to head east into the sunshine. Not far into the trail, we encountered this:

Not again!! While we were scouting a fording point, we lost Zuli.

The Big Guy had found this place to cross downstream from where Zuli and I were. I was taking a picture, and unbeknownst to either of us, she had followed him. Except she hadn't crossed the log. Or had she and fallen off??? I was absolutely panicked. Hysterically so. She can't swim. We couldn't see her, and she wasn't coming to our calls. The Big Guy was yelling at me to calm down, I was screaming for the dog, and then she came running back up the trail, having not fallen in the river at all and oblivious to the commotion. Stupid, stupid, stupid dog!

There was still the matter of crossing the log above the river with shaky knees, though. The Big Guy carried the pup, and I made it just fine despite the wobbles and a fear of heights.

OK, whew, this is much better. It did start to climb pretty good not long after this, though, and the huffin' and puffin' got rid of the last bits of my hysteria.

The trail afforded glimpses of the creek and at one point this pretty waterfall below us.

Then the trail dropped down to cross the creek with a pretty little bridge, much better than a scary log.

With no destination, we stopped trailside to have our lunch. Little did we know we'd passed a hidden surprise. After we'd headed back and come to the little bridge again, The Big Guy noticed a trail that branched off and followed the creek upstream. "I wonder," he mused aloud, "if there is a pond up that way?" No, not a pond.


It's a good thing I married such an experienced hiker because there were no signs to indicate this was mere steps away from the main trail. It was amazing that it was right there. It was so inviting, we had to take turns having a dip in the water. The Big Guy was braver than me, and made it to the base of the falls where the force of the water surprised him with a good conk on the head. I nearly froze my feet off crossing to the warm rocks on the other side. I'd show you the pics, but you don't get into the water with all your hiking clothes on, and this isn't that kind of blog.

Zuli kept her collar on, stayed out of the water, and was rewarded with her snausages.