Thursday, February 24, 2011

Update: Volunteer Vacation

January 11, 2011

I just signed up for my first (official) volunteer vacation through American Hiking Society. I assisted in building and maintaining trails since I was a kid. I helped build a trail on a hill over looking the Susquehanna River for one of the Eagle Scout projects in scouts. Later I went on an Order of the Arrow work trip to Philmont, and while that trip showed me a lot of things about myself at the time and how weak I could be if I let myself, the work was great fun, I should have been in a better place to enjoy the trip more.

The trip is in Washington state. I have wanted to go there for a very long time, but one thing or another always seemed to stand in the way. This year had looked like it was also going to be a bust, as most of my days off had been planned for other adventures. But then a miraculous thing happened and my calendar is my own again, to be filled with other adventures; though the companionship will be missed.

Going on the volunteer vacation will do several things for me. The trip will get me out to Washington, give me a destination and a reason for going also since I'm paying now I won't back out. I will not need to depend on coercing anyone from the east to go with me, to align our schedules and hope we'd still be friends. I enjoy having things planned, it's impossible to plan things with people that you can not depend on for anything.

The trip is difficult, in the back country of the Cascades. Looking at the map I want to plan to fly into Seattle and rent a car a few days before the trip, drive around see the area, maybe Couch Surf or hostel around. From there take a bus to the pickup location do the trip and spend the weekend after backpacking close by. I am very excited for this opportunity! Also it will be nice to meet some new people. It is still several months away, but it gives me something to look forward to!

Update 2/24/2011:
So I am looking at the map of where the Company Creek Complex Trail lies... apparently from Wenatchee it's not far north to another town, Chelan, and from there 50 miles of a dammed river or float plane are the only means of accessing the Trail. There is a resort at the end of the lake where the dam is, close to where our trail work will be done, with rates of $200+ with min of 5 day reservation. And I'll be in the, it seems like, very wild mountains that surround this end of the lake for practically free!

From Wikipedia:
"There is no road access to Stehekin, though several miles of road exist there. It is reachable by passenger ferry, by foot over the Cascade Pass, the Lady of the Lake, or private boat from Chelan, or by floatplane. The vehicles in Stehekin have been barged there on Lake Chelan."

I am very excited! Even more so than before.
So once we get to Stehekin there is a 5 mile hike to where we will be going. I know it's on Company Creek Complex Trail, which is visible on the NPS website, though I will need to get a better map with some topo. Google Earth allows me to see a bit better detail, it looks like a creek runs up through a valley towards Bonanza Peak, the elevations looks easy, actually. We'll be at 3600' while the peaks surrounding us will loom to 9200' (WOW that's huge!!!) I cannot wait! this actually may change things, depending on expense of using the ferry and timing, I may opt to stay up there afterwards and do some exploring, or even hike out over the Sierras, hmmm.