Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Second Search

I went back into the mountains today.

I think I went because the first time reminded me how much I love being out there, in the mountains.    I still had no idea really, where the wreck happened, and the cat was lost.  But I got up at the crack of dawn and took off, for a good time, with a lost cat as an excuse.

In the end, the horror of what happened up there, to the woman and to the cat, kept me fighting back choking sobs that wanted to overpower me on the drive home.

I swallowed them back down and sang to keep my mind occupied on the drive home.  I left at 6:30 a.m. and got home at 9:00 p.m.

First off, I'd like to make it clear I did not find the poor cat.  Or any trace of the poor cat.  I did find out where the wreck happened by chatting up a couple of ODOT guys along the road.  They had not been on duty, the night crew had, when it happened.   The woman took out about 25 feet of metal highway barrier and sheered off the studs they attach to.   Her car then plummeted down a steep embankment some 150 feet or so, before small and large trees stopped her.

How did she survive that, I thought.  In the dark and alone, she then had to make the crawl up the embankment to the highway and sit there, waiting for someone to come along while calling for her cat, who never answered her calls.

There's an ODOT road cam pointed down from Tombstone pull out, to show road conditions.   It shows the road end of the parking lot and looks downward to the east.  Here is the link:

If you are bored, keep the road cam in pop up and an eye out for a cat!

I'd be in shock.  A basket case.  Poor woman.  Poor cat.

I suppose the cat could have been in the car hiding out when it got drug back up the embankment by the tow company and maybe got out at wherever the car was towed.  That's a possibility.

Looking back up, towards the road, through the swath of destruction caused by the car when it plunged over.

Tire, still down in the brush

Broken lights in the brush

Another view of that embankment from down in it, although it does not adequately show how really steep it is.
The embankment she had to crawl back up, in the dark

Sheered off highway barrier stud

Or the cat was badly injured and is hiding dead or dying, down there on that long steep embankment in some of the holes formed beneath the rocks with the constant fall of tree debris around them creating nooks and crannies and caves.  But there's no food and water is a long ways from anywhere near there.

I can put out food and immediately I hear the low gargle and croak of the raven watching.  When a human gets out of a car up there, a sentinel is put on that human and signals if the human drops food or, gods of sky bless the ravens, dumps a whole pile of cat food out under a log.  It's gone if I turn my back.

I tried to outwit them today, putting food under things with branches to go through to get it.   I put some in a trashed tossed pop cup.

I did hike down that steep embankment myself.  I knew I had to, to look for a body.  It was not easy, as it was very very steep and had all sorts of spindly branches my feet got caught up in, but I was extremely careful and had my ski pole to help on the downhill side.  I used those spindly branches to hang on to like ropes.  When you are alone you have to be ten, no, one hundred times more careful out like that.  I peered into hole after hole after hole to see if the cat might have taken up refuge in one, but there were so many, as far as I could see.  I found no trace.

I also enjoyed myself today, played tourist for a good share of the day.

Foster Reservoir, early this a.m.

I want to camp here one day

Santiam River from Fernview campground bridge

I'll post some more photos of other places I went after I get some sleep. I went a lot of places today, besides looking for the poor kitty.  Whom I did not find.

I am trying not to think of what went on that night out there about a week ago.  After I realized what that young woman went through, I wanted so badly to find her cat for her and put her into her arms.  Set something right again in the world.  I tried very hard, besides climbing all down through that embankment, I sat with traps set for many hours.  Maybe the cat will show up somewhere.  She was moving from Bend to Corvallis with her.  So she only knows Bend.  It could happen if she's super lucky and runs into good people along the way and the weather holds and no predators get her.


  1. A very lucky woman - but my heart aches for that cat.
    Thank you for being you.

  2. If the woman survived, I expect the cat would have too. There are dangers for domestic animals in the wilderness, but he/she would have headed towards where she could find humans.

  3. My goodness you certainly had a long hard day.
    The poor lady, by the look of it she is lucky to be alive. I hope you find her cat, or the cat finds you.
    The creek photos are nice also.

  4. She was very lucky to survive that. It was a long day.

  5. Well, let's hope so Andrew and that the weather holds if she is able to head back to her home area, which is Bend, and over 50 miles away from the crash site. And her owner no longer lives there. Usually where the woman crashed is buried in snow this time of year.

  6. Awww, I'm sorry you didn't find the kitty. Thanks for being that good soul who tries *hugs*

  7. Thank you for trying. As EC put it, thank you for being you.