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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Michigan
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    478

    The Worst Vacation Ever!!

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    Well, we are back from our attempt at hiking the Wonderland trail. It was not good

    That part of our country has experienced a bad winter (lots of snow) and the trail was at least half covered in snow. Where we should have been hiking in flower filled meadows, we encountered 5-10' of snow. I heard them say that they had not seen that much snow in 20+ years.

    Well, we made a valiant effort and I even did some serious snowfield traverses (and i am afraid of heights) I was terrified for my life at some points of slipping off into nowhere--it was that steep!!! I even fell at one point and scraped every layer of skin off my arm near my elbow.

    The views and scenery were breathtaking and absolutely stunning though--- (Mt. Rainier)

    Anyway, we ended up losing the trail, getting lost and had to make the decision to turn back. It was a good plan but, bummed us out big time. I know we did the right thing but, it just made the rest of the trip a bummer because we weren't doing what we really wanted to

    We were kind of upset with the NPS for not marking the trail or informing us of the conditions, and basically telling us "hopefully you will see other footprints to follow" SERIOUSLY!!! ...um O.K. thanks but no thanks. We will trust our compass. We weren't too lost, just on the wrong ridge with a big valley in the way and a lot of snow to deal with. I just was not having fun anymore.

    Anyway, we saw Mt. St. Helens (or what is left of it), Olympic National Park--rainforests, went on a whale watch tour and saw Orcas in The San Juan Islands (way cool) and checked out Seattle.

    I would post photos but, my camera card became corrupt and i may have lost all pictures--Ugh

    I am referring to this trip as "The Bad Ju-Ju trip of 2011" It seemed like everything was just off--We wish we would have just loaded up the dogs in the RV and took off to anywhere for 2 weeks.

    I did love all the cycling lanes and cyclists in that part of the country---i was actually jealous of the great cycling community in Washington State.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    ((((Trek-chick)))). I feel so bad for you. Having had some vacations not go as planned myself, I understand your disappointment. I'm at least glad that you didn't get seriously injured or stranded or lost. There's always the next vacation.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    478
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    ((((Trek-chick)))). I feel so bad for you. Having had some vacations not go as planned myself, I understand your disappointment. I'm at least glad that you didn't get seriously injured or stranded or lost. There's always the next vacation.
    Thanks, it can only be better next time. We have just never failed to complete a hike-ever, and being with DH--I knew I would have to be the one to suggest turning back. I held off as long as I could too.

    ...on the bright side it was better than being at work
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    662
    My worst day on a hike or bike outing is always better than my best day at work. At least you got to enjoy some beautiful scenery!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,972
    If you haven't already reformatted your camera card, try putting it in a different camera or card-reader first. I got that warning on mine a little while ago, decided not to do anything, took it out and put it in my other camera, and it was fine (and the photos were still there) - *fingers crossed*

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    I am sorry you chose to visit our mountains this year. There were lots of nicer places to hike, I really am sorry. When I started reading this, I thought, Uh-oh vacationing in the Pac NW...
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Aw man- that really bites! I was wondering how your trip was and I'm so disappointed that it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to.

    Glad you got to at least see that part of the country- I know it just wasn't in the way you'd hoped for.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    5,645
    it wasn't the way we hoped for either!! (brrrr)
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    A lot of peoples regular trips have been thwarted from snow or road closures. Many of our regular MTB trails opened about a month late. The people I know that have been going hiking are prepared for snow travel, with crampons at a minimum.

    The good news is that it's been a GREAT boating season....
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    As soon as I read your second sentence, I guessed you were talking about the PNW!

    We just got back from a hiking trip down in the 3 Sisters wilderness in Oregon and had similar difficulties. Still so much snow! We found a few alternative routes, but those without crampons or ice axes stayed in camp on day two. It was just too dangerous without them. You really do have to think (and prepare) differently. We are heading up to Washington next weekend and I"m sure we'll still run into similar problems even as we approach the end of August!

    The snow has affected bike races, triathlons, and plenty of hiking trips. Mother nature does her own thing and all we can do is adapt.

    At least it makes for some spectacular photos, right?
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    Quote Originally Posted by Trek-chick View Post
    We were kind of upset with the NPS for not marking the trail or informing us of the conditions, and basically telling us "hopefully you will see other footprints to follow" SERIOUSLY!!! ...um O.K. thanks but no thanks.
    NPS has it right on the website: Don't expect a melt out before mid august, and be prepared for dangerous conditions...
    Wonderland Trail Conditions NPS

    Backcountry Trails and Camp Reports

    August 17, 2011: Mt. Rainier received a heavy amount of spring snow this year creating hazardous conditions in the backcountry. Subsequently we expect a very late melt-out this summer. Issues to consider are route-finding, creek and river crossings and trail damage. Good navigation skills are needed in these conditions. It is easy to get disoriented and/or lost. There are also steep, icy slopes in numerous locations around the park. Always check with Park Rangers for trail conditions before heading out into the backcountry.

    General Conditions Update: The current snowline is between 5,000 and 5,500 feet. The park experienced a very heavy snowfall this past winter (2010-2011) and melt-out is not expected until sometime in late August.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    It actually sounds like parts of it were great and that the "not finishing" disappointment colored the great parts too. That's too bad.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    478
    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    NPS has it right on the website: Don't expect a melt out before mid august, and be prepared for dangerous conditions...
    Wonderland Trail Conditions NPS
    We saw this after we got back... I didn't check every day but when we checked in with the rangers on Aug 1st NONE of this was mentioned to us. We could have purchased equipment if needed. I also called 5 times to the NPS before we left and They never mentioned anything to me then either.
    Last edited by Trek-chick; 08-19-2011 at 03:09 AM.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    Quote Originally Posted by Trek-chick View Post
    We saw this after we got back... I didn't check every day but when we checked in with the rangers on Aug 1st NONE of this was mentioned to us. We could have purchased equipment if needed. I also called 5 times to the NPS before we left and They never mentioned anything to me then either.
    So sorry this happened. And I don't blame you for being distressed that NPS didn't tell you about conditions when you called them.

    I would always trust a phone conversation to provide better information than what's posted on a web site.

    I would be tempted to write a letter about this, if you have documentation about when you called and who you talked to. I've heard NPS employees complain about clueless tourists very often. Perhaps they need to be reminded to do their part in providing accurate information.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    a friend of mine has a daughter who was ready to go to girlscout camp. They got up there and it was all snow. So much for that!!
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

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    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

 

 

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