May 10, 1999 - Monday

High Rocks Hike

Bright, clear, cold morning. 38 degrees. Decided to go up the mountain. Still had gear loaded from Friday or whatever day it was I turned around because of rain.

Stopped at Estacada for gas. Price slightly down. Went to bakery for coffee and day-old muffins. Went to Tru-Value Hardware for 357 shells. Not what I wanted. Went to Thriftway for a couple of beers and a sandwich for lunch. Went to another store to shop for shells. A guy who likes guys better than girls was behind the counter. A little too attentive for me, but whatever. That stuff doesn't matter to me. Shells slightly overpriced and generic, but will do. Only had 4 left from the good box. They were more than enough, but thought I might target shoot a little. Took too much time in town, about 45 minutes. Clouded up while I was farting around.

Seemed like a long drive up. Saw only one Forest Service and one PGE vehicle coming down and a contractor truck passed me going up full of stuff for heating and air conditioning work. Probably going to the Job Corps center. Went to the Timothy Lake gate. Still closed, damn. Not in very good mood today.

Went up the High Rocks road to a spot short of the 1 mile marker and got my gear on and started walking up the road. No other cars around. Left truck about 9:50.

Canyon going up to High Rocks not good for our purposes. Maybe a transit lane, but kind of even doubt that. Narrow, steep, doesn't lead to a flat area. However, it is the path out of the head of the Roaring River.

Nice grade, nice day. Put on the sweat shirt, hat and gloves and enjoyed the cool air. Saw a little deer sign, but no elk sign. Traipsed along just looking at the mountains on the west side of the creek and the cut on the east side of the road. Big scree up toward the top of the hill on the west. Lots of open space, some meadow areas.

Got up to the TR 700 turn off. Snow right there! Had been melted off below. I had left my Sorrels home, only had on my hiking shoes, so this was the end of the trail going up. A Forest Service 4x4 pick-up came up. Radios, writing pad, brief case, attitude said he was a supervisor of some kind. He kept looking at the 357 on my hip. Told him it wasn't for hunting. Gave him my name and told him to say hello to Law Enforcement Officer xxxx for me. That mellowed him out big time. Wrote my name down. Good of him.

He specifically remarked a couple of times about where my truck was and had I walked all the way up here. I told him what my truck looked like and he said he remembered it "Way down there." I really hadn't gone far, about 2 miles one way. He sort of got the drift of what I was looking for and mentioned the road that paralleled this one up on the ridge to the east of us. For some reason, he said that would be a good one to inspect and that he was going to try to get up there. Off he went through the snow. I don't think he got far. He was already dragging.

The Forest Service man told me there was still 3' of snow at Timothy Lake and at least 5' of snow down by Si-Si (sigh - sigh) Butte. Said Graham Pass was still closed with lots of snow and no logs were coming out. Said they wouldn't plow that area and it was going to open up late this year (July?).

On the way back down, I went into the bench at three places. Just a few deer tracks. Found a stick to beat the trees a few times. Nice stick, tossed it in back of the pick-up. I had taken off my hat and gloves a few times up the hill. The sun felt warm and I could almost feel a little sun on my face. But, when I got in the truck, I felt cold and stayed cold for a while.

Shellrock Creek full and noisy. No one at the campground. A truck had parked down by the Oak Grove fork of the Clackamas River. Mushroomer? An older Toyota 2 wheel drive pick-up with a canopy and people in the front and back was running around. Mushroomers? I saw it several times.

Drove back up the road to a spur road running east. Closed after about 5 miles by snow where the ridge turned hard northeast. Saw a couple of nice deer. Generally steep area that had been logged. Terrain showed well due to logging on each side of the valley.

I got out the map and id'ed Peavine Canyon, Peavine Mountain, Granite Peaks, Oak Grove Butte, Mt. Lowe, Mt. Mitchell and down south, Si-Si Butte. Need more map work in this area.

Drove back down through Three Lynx. Couple of mushroomers at Cliff #2. Went to meadow at Cliff #1. Some elk tracks. Casting site had been tromped on. Heel mark was still left. There were some people fishing at Harriet Lake and on the Clackamas River.

My general impression was that recreation people were moving up the hill. What a revelation!

Damn tired when I got home. Had stopped at the store and bought a nice steak. Opened a can of spicy beans. Too tired to really eat, most of the steak and beans went into the refrigerator. My jeans needed to be washed bad. Second day up for them. They were getting real Darrellized.

Roads: 224, 57, 58 to 5830 intersection (snow & FS man), 5810 to 150 (snow block).

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