Nick Eaton / Gorton Ck 11-June-2010

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VanMarmot
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Nick Eaton / Gorton Ck 11-June-2010

Post by VanMarmot » June 12th, 2010, 6:25 am

I'll hike in the rain if I have to, but I'm not going to volunteer for it. So the recent incessant deluge was not appreciated. It was supposed to end on Friday, so I decided to loop up Nick Eaton Ridge and down the Gorton Creek Trail to test the veracity of these optimistic weather forecasts. The rain squall I drove through on I-84 enroute to Herman Creek was not encouraging but by the time I started hiking (just after 8am), the sun was out.

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Part way up the ridge it looked like the clouds were really, finally, leaving.

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Well, not quite. Until mid-afternoon, the sun and clouds were going to engage is a meteorological tug-of-war - eventually the sun won but in the morning, at 4000', the ridge was enveloped in clouds.

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And while it was not raining (it never did that all day), there was plenty of dripping vegetation to take up the task of moistening my boots and pant legs.

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It's been 2-3 years since I'd ventured beyond the Casey Creek Trail junction and I was impressed by the very good condition of the Nick Eaton Ridge Trail up to and beyond that point. I'd remembered it as a little brushy, and had my folding saw along just in case, but only used it once. The upper Gorton Creek Trail was also in good condition - there were a few down trees but none that couldn't be easily by-passed. There was no snow anywhere along this loop. The Gorton trail crosses an open boulder field at the headwaters of Grays Creek, which gave me a nice view of Dog Mountain across the river.

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The cloud deck had begun to rise, and finally, about an hour from the car, the sun broke through and sunlight spilled into the forest.

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It would have been nice if it had been sunny all day (especially at my lunch stop) but temperatures - although never very warm - were perfect for hiking. Weather issues aside, it was a very enjoyable hike, but I'm looking forward to "real" summer arriving this weekend.


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