Whenever my five year old grandson asks me a question that I answer with “I don’t know,” he always replies, “Well, just google it” – Ha ha! Though with a world of information at our fingertips, it really is that easy to get our answers these days. But the question this day was not from my grandson, and being we were up in the mountains without service, I’d have to wait until I got home for the all knowing internet to give me what I wanted.
The question of “Why did they name this Gothic Basin,” came from one of the gals as we struggled up the steep trail in anticipation of seeing this epic area with an unusual name. There were eight of us women, all of different speeds and experience, and we had a blast together – even though many of us had just met. It’s true that having this trail kick our collective asses could be reason for a quick bond; though bonds are easily formed when you are with amazing people who share such a great love. So far, meeting lovely new people through the PNW Outdoor Women’s Group on FB is batting a thousand.
Heidi was the instigator for this trip (having done it several times and wanting to share the pain/glory with others) and though she was the expert we looked to for advice on the inevitable “how much longer/worse is this freaking trail?” questions, she didn’t know the reason for the name. Once we got to the top, we couldn’t help assuming the name came from it’s looming and eerie feeling spires that seemed like gargoyles should be perched upon. Gothic indeed.
But no, almighty Google simply states: “The mountain was named for early prospector William Gothic”…how boring. But I can guarantee you that is the only thing boring about this trail. Be ready for 12.5 miles (The WTA website lies…if you are expecting their stated 9.2, you will be in for an unpleasant surprise) with almost 3,000 feet of gain – much of it scrambling. I’m glad Heidi talked me into doing this as a day hike instead of a backpack; though the camping spots up there are quite beautiful, and there is a privy. (FYI to anyone wanting to take this on with 40 pounds on your back…all I can say is you’d better have your hiker legs, or lots of time/patience/and sheer will.)
After crawling off the mountain, most of us met up at Playa Bonita, which is now our go-to spot after any hike on the Mountain Loop Highway. A monster size Margarita with a grateful cheers to us for making it out alive – along with talk of future places to explore…I couldn’t think of a better way to end a day. Happy trails!
AND YOU CAN READ MY BOOK FOR FREE NOW IF YOU HAVE KINDLE UNLIMITED! JUST SEARCH “50 DAYS 500 MILES AND 5 STATES WHEN I TURNED 50” ON AMAZON 🙂