We bailed on a return trip to Cave Ridge last week to avoid more sickness and more rain. Monday was supposed to be clear so we set out, but not to Cave Ridge. Instead, we were going to Pelletgun Hill because it seemed relatively easy and we didn't want to push Scott who was just recovering from the plague*.
Pelletgun Hill is an unassuming little rocky knob in the North Fork valley. It's most visible from the road so I have seen it repeatedly as I drive the kids (or Grandpa Jack) into the Hancock property. It's just a road walk with a little bushwhack at the end so it seemed perfect for an easy night out.
We got to the gate just as the sun was setting, but we were too low to really see it. Thanks to the heavy fog the light was scattered enough that we didn't need headlamps until we got to the end of the road and had to start the off-trail portion through the clearcut. There was a trail that faded in and out. I bet Scott a dollar that we'd be able to follow it all the way back. I hope he doesn't remember that. (Or read this.)
Once we'd navigated the logging debris we entered a very small section of trees still standing atop the hill. How ironic that where we wanted it to be cleared the loggers had spared a cluster of trees. It was just enough that we couldn't see the views (such as they were) and instead found a log to sit on for some hot chocolate and a picture.
We were back at the car by 8pm having spent less than two hours on the "trail." Scott claimed to have liked it, but more because it was laid back and mellow than for the wilderness experience.
Instead of the Pour House we crashed at our house where Amy was making one million** pumpkin pancakes. Scott may have eaten a third of them, but the remaining two thirds were left for Clara to consume over the next few mornings. (She apparently really likes them.) After bucket and pancakes Scott and Josie headed home, I did dishes, and found I was thankful I wouldn't be bothered by thoughts of Pelletgun Hill next time I drove past it.
Total distance was about 2.8 miles with 700 feet of gain and no views. Blech.
* Not technically the plague.
** Yes. Literally one million pancakes. They were small.