A Disastrous BeginningFor a while we (Me and my brother Michael) been wanting to go to Prairie Mountain which is North East of the city of Darrington. My bike chain recently broke so I had to go with Sean's (a friend of mine) street bike. On Friday of October 31, 2009 we stay up late packing, who needs Halloween when you got mountains to get ready for! The next morning we went to the bus stop which we waited for the bus. This is where bad news turned the whole trip upside down. The bus wasn't coming until 7:30 a.m. which my thoughts were "dang commtrans.org giving me false info" which there may have been a glitch or something in the schedule. Fortunately we were able to get to Smokey Point which was great news, the down side to this was that we missed the meeting bus by about 20 minutes, which one would think no big deal, but it was the turning point in the adventure. The next bus would not come until 4:00 P.M.! So we decided well we might as well bike to the mountains, considering we brought our bikes.
A Tough Bike RideFor some reason I had a hard time biking, Michael kept going at a fast past which I had much trouble keeping up with. We tried the idea of swapping bikes, which did not help me, although it was nice having gears, I get a cramped feeling due to the lack of space, so we eventually swap again. Eventually as we bike, Michael tells me to go faster which I become furiously tired in a short amount of time. It was more tiring for me than climbing mountains, or most of the time of hiking/scrambling that is. We later took a break once I was feeling weak. After this we attempted to look for a way to Mount Higgins but not only was it private property, but it seemed a bit bushy, and Higgins was covered in dark stormy clouds. We change mountains and bike a bit further which to my amazement there were so many "do not trespass" and "private property" signs which made getting to many of the mountains nearly impossible without trespassing. Eventually I decide to ask at a house, and the lady was very kind and granted us passage to the mountain behind her house. She said we could leave our bikes there which from here the bush whacking begins.
Bush Whacking to Nowhere
After bush whacking off the lady's property we got to a "trail" like way that led up a section of the mountain. At first it was dark, and most people would have turned around because of how many bushes there where and how easy it looked like for getting lost. As always I am a die hard. I see a light shine though the woods and it almost seemed like a miracle which I think "this is the way, lets take it!". Unfortunately things did not turn out as I hoped. At first going up wasn't too bad, a few branches here and there, until we get to a old clear cut area. We start getting into thick bushes and the worry of finding our way back increases. Fortunately we would figure a way down one way or another. Even the lady told us that the best way to get out from being lost in the mountains was to just go down. There would be about one foot deep of leaves, and other stuff which was a bit bothersome. I feared what Michael told me before when in the woods and someone stepping on a bees nest. We continued and things got a little smoother, and then worse, now the leaves and such got even deeper and trees would be rotted and slippery and there were thorn bushes and devils club which made things a bit tricky. Thank Goodness when we get past all this stuff. Then we take a brake, and head up through trees and such which this whole time we took out our ice axes for support. As we look up, we see cliffs all around, from down below the ridge looked fine, but up there the ridge had cliffs of all sorts which would make navigation a pain. It would have been very hard to even get onto the safe ridge in the distance. Michael said even Rambo wouldn't even want to get into what was ahead, so we finally called it quits. When I call it quits, you know its bad. The way down was a lot easier going, perhaps a few prickles here and there, and a stumble, but for the most part it went well. We got to the lady's house just fine. We thanked her and decided to ride our bikes to Darrington.
Riding to DarringtonIt would still be a few hours before the bus would come, so we though we might as well make the best of the time. Plus we both wanted to see how it was like. It was much easier going now because we paced our selves, I even had time to take a few photos along the way. Unfortunately as I was bending down to take a reflection photo, I ripped my pants, fortunately there was a second layer inside of them which I will have to sew.
Biking the rest of the way to Darrington was a breeze, which by the time I got there we biked around 30 miles. I rode around and took some more photos as we waited for the bus. After a while I got hungry and was cold and there happened to be a nice lady who comes out and says "Anyone want a box of Free Donuts?" I was crazily excited and took the offer which was mighty generous of her. After this we took the bus home, this proved to be a fun bike ride. Next weekend I hope to Bike to Prairie Mountain and hike up it.