August 5-August 11 2010
East Fork Lostine & Maxwell Lake Trails
Dun dun dun duuun, dun dun dun duuuun, dun nanananananananana, dun nanananananananana! Yes, our final hitch was about as epic as Beethoven's fifth symphony, but with just a bit more percussion.
The hitch was a double header, first tackling the previously conquered East Fork Lostine (mostly to remind it that the SCA crew shows no mercy) then straight up (quite literally) the Maxwell Lake trail to experience its stunning beauty and righteous peaks.
On the East Fork, we spent some time redesigning our previously built rock culvert, and a French (or 'Free' depending on whom you ask) drain was installed in place of the culvert. The remainder was spent restoring our vanquished allies, the Drainages, to their previous position of power and glory, much to the distress of the trail goddess (who is called Matilda by the way).
After conquering the East Fork Lostine, the crew headed up the Maxwell Lake Trail. They were deceived by the first 3 miles of ambling switchbacks which made the steady elevation gain seem tiny. However, the Maxwell Trail was merely creating a sense of false security, and soon revealed its true nature: a never-ending slope with the trail running right up the steep, slippery center. Our mission, which we chose to accept, was to make this last mile of trail a bit more friendly to the every day user (4 year old girls with pigtails...and the occasional stiletto). We placed over 20 beautifully ornamented checksteps to prevent potential slippage on the trail, leading to a tumble miles down the mountainside. We also rerouted several pieces of trail, converting downright rock scrambling into a few lovely curvaceous switchbacks. When all was said and done, the crew felt comfortable bringing their stilettos and mumus on the trail at the end of hitch (photographic proof to come later, along with stable internet access).
After conquering the Maxwell Lake Trail, the crew bid farewell to their picturesque final campsite (and its mosquitoes), packed their bags, and headed on their merry way. At the bottom of the mountain awaited their glorious shack, and two days of cleaning (we did get the radioactive mushroom scent out of the bear bins, by the way) before their final voyage in their glorious steed (Dodge 2500) Isabel to the fabled land of Idaho and the legendary city of Boise whence they were to part ways, one FINAL time.
Laura & Sam