Alright, whatever, we've crossed streams before and we've been cold before. If our socks get wet, it's okay, we're going home tonight and this is just a day hike. Plus, to turn around would mean retracing our ~6 miles and most of it would be uphill.
Let's just go for it, we say. Jill crosses first and then takes this picture of Serial's first step into the water. There's video too - it's pretty funny.
So the idea is that you hold on to the cable that hangs vertically across the top cable and try to shimmy it across, while you hold on for stability. Uh. Sure.
So Serial goes first just to test it out and when get gets to that second section of fast moving water, he loses his footing a little. Jill screams (super helpful) and he somehow regains his footing, then comes back to the starting point to rethink our game plan.
The first couple of steps are okay, but as soon as we hit the rapids, Jill's feet fly out from under her and she's horizontal on her back/pack. She's still hanging on to the cable, but the water is trying really hard to grab hold. Once your feet are out of the water, it's pretty impossible to get them back in and stand up.
Serial gets a surge of protective energy and starts hulking out. Like, full on grunting like he's in a strongman competition and turning into a beast.
He somehow manages to pull Jill across, while occasionally losing his own footing and scrambling to keep us both together. We have no way to explain this other than sheer adrenaline. That and he is superman.
We get to the other side and embrace. Jill maaaaay cry a bit. We're thankful that we are uninjured and safe. Our feet are pin-prickly cold and we're a little banged up, but we're okay. On we go...
But wait. What's that you say? Another stream? Perrrrrfect.
We're soaking wet and shivering, but know we have zero choice but to move forward. We do have headlamps & food and we could sleep outside if we needed too, but we are soaking wet and freezing. We declare that we are getting to that damn car.
Believe it or not, we actually come to one final stream to cross (number TWELVE for those counting). We assessed it and determined it was too risky. The water was far too deep and moving much too fast. Here's where the weird twist of fate part comes in. We had just received a GPS for Christmas and this was our first hike using it. It couldn't have been better timing.
We fired up the GPS, knowing that we had to be near the car by now, and bushwhacked our way out of that damn forest. It was not easy. There was no trail and we were cold, wet and tired. The next hour was pretty much just pushing and pulling our way through a bunch of thorny bushes and trees. The whole time dreaming of dry clothes and pizza.
When we finally got to the trailhead and caught a glimpse of our car, we sprinted to it and were just so thankful that we were alive and well. There were so many moments when things could have gone badly and considering everything that we encountered, we were lucky. I'm sure this trail is beautiful in the summer, but in the winter, all of the snow runoff makes for one crazy hike.