Imagine my disappointment when I found out the trailhead was under heavy construction and closed weekdays. I jogged along the I-84 corridor for more than four miles out and back, looking for a possible side route to poach. All I could find were cliffs and waterfalls.
The river was roaring. I started hyperventilating. I'd walked twelve tough miles to reach this spot, it was late, and my only choices were to either cross the river or hike all the way back around in the dark on that hard-to-find trail. Of course, if I'd waited for the panic to subside, I would have remembered that I'd first crossed this river on a road bridge, which was only a mile away in a direct line, and could have bushwhacked through the woods following the river until I found it. Anyway, I let the panic subside and hiked along the river bank until I found a wide spot that was only about thigh deep, where the current was more gentle and I could see the bottom (these are all requirements of mine for crossing a river alone, a task of which I'm extremely frightened.)
I made it across without incident, but my adrenal glands were drained and I was so very tired. Only fear can make me feel this tired. Becoming lost and immersing myself in rushing water rank among my most pervasive fears. Sleep deprivation doesn't help. Still, once it was all over I decided ZigZag Mountain is a rewarding hike, a beautiful route and not as tough as I perceived. It was certainly secluded.
Still, I'm pleased that through it all I still made it to the summit of Mount Defiance. It was in many ways my own defiant victory, and a perhaps a preface to a new chapter of health and vitality. Leah's and Steven's wedding was great fun, although I was guiltily a little too tired to live it up. Congrats you two!