The next day was Sunday, and since the Goldendale LDS ward is super close to the observatory, we came up to see the view in the daytime before going to church.
After Sacrament meeting we started driving west, enjoying distant views of Mt Adams and Mt Hood. At a few points we could see them both. Hood is hidden behind the telephone lines in this pic.
Of course I'd identified a few waterfalls for us to see along the way. Our first stop was Outlet Falls. It's beautiful, but terrifying to view. It's safe if you're a responsible adult, but a slight push would have sent Oscar and I to our watery deaths. We're definitely glad we didn't have Tyler here.
From there we drove to Trout Lake, enjoying beautiful views of Mt Adams on our way.
They were neat, and very slippery. We had to really watch where we stepped to avoid stepping in puddles and ice.
This waterfall was also a bit terrifying to view. You have to walk right up to the edge of the gorge to see it.
To get from the view on the left to the view on the right, you had to slide down a steep dirt hill. Fortunately there's a rope there to help you up and down. It'd be nice if more hikes had this sort of assistance. We're considering bringing ropes on our hikes in the future and leaving them if we see a place like this where they'd be really useful.
I am writing to implore you to put up more signs and barriers on Forest Road 8851. Most importantly, please place a big log across the road to block anyone from continuing down it after its junction with FR 100. Also place signs at its junction with FR 88 informing drivers that 8815 is a rough road with a dead end and no access to FR 90. A sign saying "Lower Lewis Falls" with an arrow pointing to where FR 88 continues would also be useful. I'm requesting this because of our horrible experience this past Sunday. If it had happened in winter or spring, we would have most certainly needed search and rescue. You may have even have had reports about us since at least 2 people heard our cries for help before we crossed the river. Here's our full story.
There was no cell service for dozens of miles, so we grabbed our backpacks and some supplies and continued down the old road on foot. Once we saw the bridge was washed out, we called for help and eventually crossed the river. This was only doable because it was a low water period, and the deepest patch we went through was waist high. If we'd attempted to cross the river during times of higher water, we probably would have been washed away and swept over the waterfall. We then bushwacked up to the Lewis River trail and found FR 90 where we flagged a vehicle down. They were able to drive us to where they lived in Longview, WA, and we called some friends in Cathlamet to help us out. We spent the early morning calling towing companies, all who refused to help us because our car was so far away. Even the ones that were willing to go to that particular area wouldn't tow it because it was on unpaved forest roads. Many couldn't find where I was referring to on their maps. I also called the area ranger station and police station, but no one answered. I do not know if they ever returned my calls from our friends' landline since we left after finding a company called Reddi Towing in Carson that was willing to help us out. Our friend drove over 2 hours each way to get us to Carson, and we paid $766 for a tow job that took 5 and 1/2 hours round trip.
Nancy's husband Bill was incredibly kind to us and helped us out immensely. He first drove roundtrip from Cathlamet to pick us up from Longview, then the next morning drove over 2 hours each way to take us to Carson. He stuck around while we were waiting and asked if there was anywhere we wanted to go. The main waterfall I'd been hoping to see (Falls Creek Falls) wasn't too far out of Carson, and even though he was totally unprepared for a hike, he took us there and hiked with us. We are incredibly grateful to him for that. Our stomachs were just in knots waiting for the tow to pick up our car. It would have been awful to just hang out in a small town for 5 and 1/2 hours wondering what was going on and if our car was going to fall into a ditch. Being able to take this hike helped ease our anxiety immensely. Plus it was incredibly nice to end our trip with something fun after all the stress we'd been through.
We got some great pictures, and Google+ even made a fancy version of it for us.