Backpacking in the Umatilla's
This last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to go on a backpacking trip to this wonderful, scenic area called the Umatilla's or known to some as the Blue Mountains.
Now granted I went there as a final for my Backpacking class. But I really did want to go hike around this amazing terrain. I have friends who are into this kind of thing, and they had been telling me it's a great place to hike and backpack to. I will say this, I was not disappointed one single iota.
My group arrived on Friday afternoon, and hiked in about 2 miles into the campsite we would call home for the next few days. I had thought we were going to go further but we called it a day and started setting up camp and finding firewood to start a nice toasty fire. It didn't take us long to find a down tree and some pitch to get a warm fire going. Before long, everyone was out of their tents sharing stories and most importantly food. Which was good for me because I waited till last minute to try and get food, and all I was able to scrounge up was a bag of blue-berry bagels. So I would sit by the fire all lonely and hungry, eventually people would see and offer me samples of their delicuous food. ( I don't recommend for anyone to try this tactic, because you wait a long time for the possibility of an offering of food and by then it's almost gone or it is cold and lukewarm).
The next morning we woke up by 9:30 am, ate breakfast and then were off for the next adventure. I myself love to do anything physical, at school I do lots of ultimate frisbee and running around. So I was ready to go one the 8 mile trek to our destination. Along the way, we stopped several times to see the view and look for any elk along the mountain side. A few times we saw them grazing and would see their white bottoms from afar. We also saw grouse. Those things scared the living daylights out of me. While we were walking, I happened to be talking about bear attacks. Right then, a grouse beat it's large wings and flew up in the air a few feet from where I was standing. A friend of mine and I jumped up and shrieked only to realize that the impending bear attack that we were about to suffer was the grouse.
During the trek, I had a go pro attached to my head, taking 3 pictures every two seconds. Some of the photos were pretty awesome and created an interesting affect, others were to shaky that you can not distinguish anything in the picture. I am trying to piece all three-thousand pictures into an awesome little film. I will be sure to post the link on the post once it's done. Unfortunately, the go pro ran out of space on it's memory stick by the time we got to the highest peak of the "Blue Mountains". Some of my friends took pictures with their phones, which I will post here once I have acquired them.
After the long day hike , and a rest at the crest of the mountain, we started to head back down. By this time, I was ready to go and eager to get back to camp for some rest. I hadn't run or jogged yet that day, so I figured this was the best time to do it. I started to jog, for a little bit but quickly decided my legs wanted to go faster. Before I knew it, I was sprinting past my classmates with my camel-pack attached swaying back and forth on my back. It was exhilirating and sometimes a bit scary. My eyes get really watery when wind hits them. This is exactly what happened as I was sprinting. There would be times where I couldn't see the path and slip on the rocks, almost twisting my ankle. But I had so much momentum , that as one foot was slipping the other was already in full stride landing further ahead. If it wasn't for that, I would probably be in a hospital with a twisted ankle being the least of my problems.
After I got back to our meeting site, I waited for the group a good 15 minutes. So in the meantime, I stretched, looked around for bears, and gazed upon God's majestic creation.
Once the group was back, we starting heading back to camp. As we were heading back down the path, we found a delightful surprise...Morel Mushrooms! I was delighted beyond belief. A staple food found commonly in my home state during spring, was also here in WA. That night we rested with well feed bellies and sleep came quickly over all.
Next morning, we ate as much food as possible so that our packs would be as light as possible. Everyone gave me their left-overs, and which I said thank you and then quickly devoured all the contents. It was time to say goodbye to the wilderness and head back to the suburb area. I enjoyed the trip, and the company that came along with it. We played some cool games "Cahoots", ate good food, and fellowshipped. The trip not only left me with a better sense of the people who went on the trip, but also a desire to go out in nature more often.
That is exactly what I am doing with one of my father figures, Ron Smith. We are heading out to the Olympic Pennisula the weekend after my birthday for some bonding time. No, we are not going out there to go see Vampire America, Forks, or to see any of it's filming sets over there. Instead, we are going on a nice hike into one of the secluded beaches there where you have to hike to get there. It is going to be amazing and I'm sure I will post the pictures soon afterwards so stay tuned.
Hope you all had a great memorial weekend, and that this weekend will be just as enjoyable! :D
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