I can spend a lot of time in the cabin without developing cabin fever, but Mike has to get out of the house daily, and sometimes he needs a good outing. The dogs are mostly the same way. They like to be outside, and occasionally they need to spend their pent-up energy. Well, the afternoon was nice enough that Mike invited Ken and me to hike with him at Hells Gate State Park in pursuit of a “virtual geocache.”
Geocaching Wiki defines a virtual cache as a type of geocache that involves gathering information at the cache site instead of finding a hidden container. I think it’s enough to say that we were answering questions about the spectacular basalt formations south of the park along the Snake River.
So, we parked at the lower end of the park and set out on foot in a southerly direction along a road that becomes a hiking trail. (We were directly across from Asotin on the other side of the river.) The dogs were elated! Bess and Pepper ran and cavorted while Nellie trotted along at her own pace, exploring here and there and staying out of the fray.
At one point the trail steepens but then descends right back to the river’s edge. And then I could see that we might have trouble approaching the cache site because the trail began to be muddy. Finally, it disappeared under water. To go on meant climbing through the scrubby vegetation.
“Are you thinking you can go farther?” I asked Mike. And he said he was.
“I’ll just wait here,” I volunteered and settled onto a large log to wait.
The woody vegetation was no problem for the dogs. All three of them went through easily. The humans had more trouble, and I knew I had made the right decision to wait. And – I didn’t have to wait long because in about three minutes here they came back. The trail was under water.
I suppose we hiked a mile and a half out – and that’s a mile and a half back. One of the dogs found a tennis ball, and Bess and Pepper enjoyed bounding after it. We humans enjoyed pleasant conversation, which made the distance seem shorter. Ken described the trip he and Ginny are planning.
We dropped Ken and Pepper off, and then Mike wanted to see if he could spot the cache site from Asotin (the other side of the river). This photo shows the steep part of the trail from the other side of the river. KW