Last night’s run was supposed to be a loop. Start at Pete Creek trail head (#1323) to the intersection of Tired Creek (#1317) then up and over to Waptus Pass and back down Escandido Creek trail (#1329/#1320) to Pete Creek for the win. All was going well and I was making good time as the sun was setting behind the Pacific Crest in the west, but eventually I ran into difficult locating the next segment of the Tired Creek trail. It’s bisected by a lumber road (which the guide book mentions, but failed to tell which direction to travel once reached).
When I arrived at this point on the trail I went left (west) because I could see signage down this way. The grade is really gradual on this lumber road and so I made really good time and covered a lot of ground … to absolutely no effect. Every lumber road leads, apparently, nowhere in this neck of the woods. Believe me I tried them all.
Finally the sun had set and I ran back to the point at which the foot path meets the lumber road deciding that I’d head up to Pete Lake or something if I couldn’t find the rest of Tired Creek trail. In the light of my headlamp I noticed that there was a pile of rocks which may have been a cairn at one point. This was just to the right of the meeting point of paths and upon closer inspection it seemed to be just that. I took off to the east wondering why someone would knock a cairn down and found where the foot path heads up the creek basin.
I don’t think they should call this “tired” anything. Rather a more appropriate name might be Masochist’s Ditch. It’s a steep, loose, and strenuous bit of trail. I climbed it anyway. Really enjoyed myself actually. Finally made it to the border of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with meteors lighting up the dark sky above. I stopped and tried to take a picture, noticed that I had a cell phone signal and called home knowing that Tess was probably worried about me by now. She was, I reassured and then decided to run another 15 or so minutes into the wilderness.
There is a protected bowl at the point just below the Polallie Ridge. I wish I could have seen more of it, but even in the dark you could smell the moisture in the soil. There were wild flowers, all sorts, blooming along the path, and several owls hooting nearby. Pine and fir trees, short and tall all over the place; this would be a nice place to visit in the fall and during the day light.
Eventually I turned around and headed back down the trail. Next time I’ll be much further along and should be able to finish the loop without problems. At least I know where the trail is now.