Day 129 8-1-07 Tarp Tent 5502′
Maiden Ski Hut – Dumbbell Lake
33.15 miles; 1952.4 (69.86) total miles; 3815.5 trip miles
Days camped alone 16
Deer count is 110
Marmot count is 53
Elk count is 23
Bear count is 7
Pika count is 6
Rattlesnake count is 6
Badger count is 1
I didnt sleep well on the hard wooden bench. The hardest packed ground is still softer than wood. The full moon kept me up as well. The hut had lots of windows. I didn’t get up until Silver and Backtrack came down from the loft.
They left shortly before I did since I was having breakfast and they don’t first thing.
Today I must have passed 6-8 other trails and close to 2 dozen ponds/lakes. First came Bobby Lake Trail, then Moore Creek, Twin Peaks, and Charlton Lake Trail where I stopped for water the first time. I met a young man there who was just out for the night with his buddy. They had only parked a quarter mile away so they hauled in some kayaks. We chatted some then I moved on.
I climbed to Lily Lake Trail then descended to Taylor Lake. This descent was no ordinary one. It was through a burned section and was hot and sunny. In one of the few areas with green trees, I met a guy named Jim who talked to me a bit. I left him and went on to finish the next hour of the burned section. Not too far down the trail, I was chatting to my Mom on the phone and I ran into a guy named Greg Howe. I hung up with Mom, which turned out to be a good thing since Greg gave me 4 pieces of trail information for the trail ahead. I thanked him and let him go since he was out of water and getting hot. Just after Taylor Lake was Road 600 at Irish Lake. I stopped here for lunch and more water. I only broke for about 45 minutes then moved on. Irish Lake was a beautiful lake though.
As I left Irish Lake I entered the Sister Wilderness. Just like before lunch I passed more lakes, Brahma (where I saw 2 girls and 2 guys), Jezebel, Stormy, Blaze, and Tadpole Lakes. Mind you there are tons more without names I went by. Most are just mosquito factories though. Between the two lakes was Cougar Flats where I passed the older couple from just before Shelter Cove.
The next section of trail had lots of side trails to numerous lakes. There was Snowshoe Lake, Mink Lake Loop, Moody Lake, and Cliff Lake Trails. It was at the last one I took the trail to the lake and had dinner. This lake had a shelter, which I forgot to get a picture of. It said not to camp in it due to it not being safe. At the camp I met Jeff and Mary and their Cattle Dog, Zip. Zip was a blue cattle dog and was 2 years old. He growled at me at first; but by the time I left, he and I were best buddies. I even got my beard cleaned by him. He didn’t want me leaving with Lipton Sauce and Noodles in my beard. Jeff and Mary were on their last night of a 5 day hike around the surrounding lakes. They were very nice and let me use their filter to save my chemicals. I thought about staying with them but I need to make miles since I planned wrong and have an extra 11 miles to do.
Just before Cliff Lake, I saw my 5th Pika and after the lake I saw deer number 110. After the deer I saw Pika number 6. I passed by Island Lake and went to Dumbbell Lake. When I got there, I was greeted by Pika calls. It made me smile. I found a flat spot, set up my tent then went to the water to wash up. I got buck naked and just stood on the rocks while I cleaned up.
(There is some critter outside of my tent right now. I can’t see it since its dark.)
I was treated to an incredible sunset, which was nice since I haven’t had a nice one in a while.
Scatman 2011- After yesterday where I had to sit most of the day and wait for UPS at Shelter Cove, today was grand. I put in big miles despite a bad night’s sleep. The shelter was amazing but the benches were too hard to sleep comfortably. Though fully load up I was moving along at a nice clip. It was also cool to be seen Pikas again. If you’ve seen them in person you would agree their super cute.
My sunset at Dumbell Lake was amazing. It’s funny how things work out on the trail. I was having such a nice time at dinner speaking with the couple I met and playing with Zip but I still moved on. As a result I was treated to an evening show, in the way of a beautiful sunset. I truly went to bed on this night thinking about how luck I was to be right here.
Get out there!