Bailey Range Traverse, Olympic National Park, Jul 26, 2007 - Aug 1, 2007 page 17 / 97
About one-half mile prior to the end of the trail one of several gullies was reached. Kevin and Libby admitted that the increased exposure was becoming more uncomfortable. It was at this point we decided to split from them and continue our quest into the unknown. Hugs were exchanged and goodbyes said.
As Tom and I continued, I felt an emptiness in my gut, disappointed that Dad would not be continuing with us to enjoy this momentous trip. At the same time, I knew that he was excited that we were able to attempt the trip together.
We reached the end of the trail quickly. I peered around the corner at the last gully, and followed the trail with my eyes for another twenty feet to its abrupt end, 3000 feet over the Hoh River. The trail does not simply fade away, but ends like a dead end street. Apparently, the Civilian Conservation Corps just quit one day, back in the early 1940s, as funding for the project was discontinued by Congress.
I tried to remember standing on the end of the trail with my brother and Dad, back in 1988, but could only recall the photograph I had recently viewed at home.
Tom and I easily recognized the trail up to the Catwalk, a boot-beaten “path” over rock, root and limb, roughly straight up the hill, beginning just prior to the last gully on the High Divide trail. We began the arduous task of climbing this rough trail, using branches to pull ourselves up, at times. After climbing some 200 feet, we broke out to a small clearing. From there one could either proceed northwest to the summit of Cat Peak, or southwest to the Catwalk.
We took our packs off for a few minutes and surveyed the area, admiring the views from this location, especially of Mt. Carrie, which clearly dominated our eastern view.