Phil Lee

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Seattle (Part 3)

Saturday 03/11/17

*Couldn't take too many photos during this day because of weather conditions and the constant hiking/running... Enjoy!*

4:00 AM. That's when our plans to drive down to Oregon started for us on Saturday. Our breakfast for the morning was one made for champions: hot pockets. We bought enough so that each of us could eat two and also packed cookies, goldfish, and bananas for the ride there. The bananas were to make ourselves feel a bit healthier, but I think we only ended up eating one or two out of the 6 we bought. Well, at least we tried!

The drive was what you would expect from 5 people who slept close to midnight and woke up at 4:00 AM to travel: sleepy. It wasn't until we were close to crossing the state border that we finally felt a bit rested for the 8 mile (round trip) hike ahead of us. The two most exciting things that happened during this drive were probably: 1) We crossed the state border to Oregon and 2) The window of the rental car stopped working 85% into our trip. Thankfully, we got it to work again after a few bangs and bumps. 

4 hours later... We arrived at the parking location for the hike. The road to the start of the trail was buried under a good few feet of snow, so we parked a few miles out and had to trek in. The hike wouldn't have been too bad, but hiking in snow is almost never a good time without snow shoes. And, snow shoes were exactly what we didn't have. But if there's one thing that I've learned from all my travels, it's that you need to know how to make the best of every situation. Be open to unexpected events and, when/if they come, you'll be ready to take it on better! To be honest though, what came after we arrived at the spring was something I'd never expect. What happened? Well, as the title says, the hot spring wasn't springing. In other words, it wasn't really working. There were only two tubs out of 9 that got a consistent flow of water. But out of the two, one was already taken by a few hikers and the other was only meant for one person to soak in.

We were all pretty disheartened and shocked when we got there. 4 miles of hiking just for this? A group of hikers that we met along the way just turned back after seeing the lack of water. Us, on the other hand, we were pretty determined to make something work and eventually, we sort of did. But I think I need to just quickly summarize what we looked like at that moment:

My friend Nina soaked in the 1-person tub, but it wasn't long before we found that the tub was only getting lukewarm water. About 5-10 minutes of her getting in, she was already freezing. My other friend Christine decided to not go into the tub because she was already freezing from her clothes being drenched by the rain. Meanwhile, Roy, Jeemyn, and I were running around trying to find out how to fix the pipes so we could get water to at least one big tub.

But hey, make the best out of every situation right? We found that water was pouring straight down onto the dirt where one major pipe was disconnected. So, the three of us took the buckets available at the springs and started filling them up to dump into a wooden tub. Knowing that Nina was freezing though, we dedicated one bucket to being poured into her tub so it could warm up. The most we could do for Christine was to give her our jackets, which we were fine with because of all the running we were already doing. This entire cycle of running water back and forth lasted for a good hour.

Eventually, there was enough water for people to get in, so we told the girls to run from their tub to the one we filled. Finally, we could relax. The spout of our tub was getting some flow of water so we decided to just wait and let it do its thing. It took another good 30-45 minutes before we got into the tub, but only Jeemyn went in all the way. After all the work, Roy and I just ended up dipping our feet into the water. For some reason, even though I was really tired, I was still having the time of my life. It's moments like these that I'll be able to look back on and distinctly remember. Don't get me wrong, I like it better when something goes according to plan. But I'm glad moments like these happen once in a while so I can remember how great life is.

We stayed at the spring for a few hours before packing our belongings and heading back out. The hike back was even more tiring than when we entered and, it was really quiet. We were all exhausted from 4 mile hike before, and now we were starting our 4 mile hike back. Long story short, we got to our car about an hour or so later and started our drive back home. All I remember from our drive back is Nina eating all of our goldfish because she was so hungry. It's okay though, I didn't even want goldfish anyway, not a single one. No, not at all. Just kidding, I kind of did, but it's all good. I ended up knocking out for the entire 4 hour drive home. I guess I was tired? Thanks for reading about this day! Stay tuned, stay stoked, and have a great day!

Phil Lee