Cod Skins

“I rolled in horse poop. I barfed in the tent. I chased a deer. It was a good day.”
- Oscar, July 30, 2013

Today was a good day.

I needed to check on the conditions for an early-August trip to the Goat Rocks, so Oscar and I decided do a quick overnight recon trip the week before. Our route took us up Nannie Ridge to Cispus Pass, an overnight at Sheep Lake, and a return to Walupt Lake via the PCT to make a loop. Aside from a few mosquitoes and biting flies, it was darn near perfect: great flowers, a tiny bit of snow, and warm, sunny weather. We started from the Walupt Lake trailhead around noon and made it to Sheep Lake a couple hours later. I set up our camp, Oscar said hello to a nice couple from Seattle, and then we took our dinner up to Cispus Pass for a couple hours of mountain t.v. and relaxing. The next day we got up early and hiked back to Walupt along the PCT. We ran into the Sheep Lake Seattle backpackers at the trailhead and offered them a ride back to Snowgrass Flat, where their car was parked. They had been thinking about walking the road or using a mishmash network of logging roads and horse trails to get back. Bill and I had been in a similar situation in the Goat Rocks in 2006 and our trail angels drove us all the way back to our car at Walupt Lake from White Pass. I had some serious hiking karma to pay forward and was happy to help them out.

About a month after this trip, I received a package in the mail. I didn’t recognize the return address or handwriting and opened it with some hesitation. I snipped off the end of the envelope and turned it upside down. A sandwich bag of dried fish landed onto the dining room table. Puzzled, I reached into the envelope and pulled out a card with a photo of Mt. Adams on it. It read:


[We] just wanted to thank you for the lift from Walupt Lake. It was great to meet both you and the wiley Oscar and it cut out a dusty and long downer of a piece of trail. Sorry it’s taken a while to get this [bag of dried fish] off to you. We wanted to send a goodie along. The treat is for Oscar (though we did consider sending gummie bears for you) and is from a local animal care store we like. Cod skins- who knew!

L and A

Mt Adams and meadows filled with lupine

lupine and snag

Mt. Adams through the smoky haze

Tieton Peak from Nannie Ridge

Nannie Ridge Trail near Sheep Lake

heading up the PCT to Cispus Pass

beargrass and heather

Cispus Basin from Cispus Pass

electric paintbrush

checking on the pikas

dining al fresco

clouds over Tieton Peak

Goat Rocks (south) pano

chilling in my one-person-one-dog tent that evening

early morning on the PCT south

a very smoky Mt. Adams from fires to the east

gorgeous flower show along the PCT

Klickitat River basin

8 thoughts on “Cod Skins

  1. I am considering taking off all next year and hiking instead of working, great photos, sounds like a lovely hike minus the dog barf.

  2. If not move, you should definitely visit. There’s so much beauty within a day’s travel of Portland or Seattle, it will make you hurl. :)

  3. Pingback: Join the Herd | Allison Outside

  4. Pingback: A Year of Riches | Allison Outside

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>