Day 178 (Oct. 15): Mile 810.2 – 793.1 Again

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Beginning Elevation = 10,750
Ending Elevation = 10,550
Elevation Range = 8,550 – 12,100
Weather: Sunny and clear, high 60°F

I guess my body thought I was done with this hiking business seeing as it decided to sleep an hour later this morning. I’m not sure if my alarm didn’t go off or if I slept right through it. It was rather nice to wake up to it being light out already though.

I got going around 7:30am after snapping a celebratory photo with my man Sumi (he’d been snoozing yesterday upon arrival, the hike up Mathers had tuckered him out)…

So today would be all stuff I’d hiked before back in early June. What I expected and what came to be true though was that it would be an entirely different experience and perspective seeing everything now without the entire landscape being snow covered or with meltwater cascading all throughout the lower valleys.

One thing I observed right away is that for most of the time during our original assault through this area, in the high altitudes, we had not been on the trail and were often not anywhere near it. I think we knew that at the time and it wasn’t a bad thing necessarily. Sometimes, it just made sense to not bother finding the trail, but have an idea of the surroundings and where we were headed. Kool-Aid was great at leading us through those sections and indeed, I remember him up in front during this first stretch of my day, Pinchot Pass.

Although I was now traveling south through this stretch, the memories were still coming back as I recognized features and I could picture our group struggling through this part. It was kind of fun, sort of a way to reflect on the whole thing. The first part of the day was a 3 mile climb up to Pinchot Pass. I passed by some lakes on the way.

It was little different the first go around…

The area seemed so wide open. Since Mather Pass, it has been mostly pretty rocky rather than a forest of trees. I remembered coming down this part and feeling like it was a long gradual field of snow. There must have been a lot of snow to cover up all the rocks and unevenness then, or I just have a poor memory. This time around, going up, I thought the last bit was pretty steep.

At the top, I’d hoped to take my breakfast break, but I’d forgotten to get water at the last stream and so didn’t have enough for my mocha latte and oatmeal supreme. I still wanted to spend some time up there though since all the passes are great and give the best views. Here, I decided I’d scramble up higher even…up to that peak…

Once moving again, I made my way down the steeper parts of Pinchot and then stopped for breakfast overlooking some of the ponds below.

I was a fan of this mountain. Nice and symmetrical and with lots of spires…

I was moving slow this morning, in a good way, and it was already around 11:00am by the time I got hiking post-breakfast. I had a very pleasant walk cruising on down along Woods Creek. Such a pretty canyon…

I had lunch at the wonderful Woods Creek water slide on a rock ledge that I’m sure had been underwater the last time I visited here. There was a bit less water moving through this time around and the rapid that we had dubbed the Wood Chipper now seemed like it was a pleasant pool that I might have liked to jump in for a swim…

Then…

And now…

Such neat formations the water has been and is continuing to carve out…

It was a quick lunch, just enough time to make and put down a couple PB and J tortillas. Next up was crossing Woods Creek via the Suspension bridge…

And then, I followed as the trail turned up a different canyon. This one followed along a different fork of Woods Creek. I’d pass by Dollar Lake, Arrowhead Lake, and eventually make my way to the gorgeous Rae Lakes. Here’s after having hiked up a bit and looking back down…

And another look-back…

I crossed Baxter creek, which was one that had given our team so much trouble before. It was just a small stream now and I had no issues with it. Here’s two different seasons of Arrowhead Lake…

And another comparison shot (the trail most certainly didn’t go that way)…

And then, Rae Lakes, a favorite in any season! I found one of the most scenic tent sites that I can remember out here and set up at 4:30pm. It was the perfect setting for my last night on the trail!

I did put a filter on this next photo, but I feel it brightened things up to better represent what I was actually seeing…clear turquoise blue water with the sun’s last rays shining across!

And here’s one last comparison shot since I love this picture of the squad having just waded acoss the gap between the two lakes. Like all these water crossings before, here too I would be able to just walk across dry now. My super camp was very near here and so I planned to cross over the rocks/log tomorrow morning…

I even got to do some exploring (while being careful not to destroy the sensitive area) and got some shots of the sunset colors…

Today’s Music/Audiobook:

Finished The Irresistible Revolution – by Shane Claiborne

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Live at the Lyceum, London, 1975

3 thoughts on “Day 178 (Oct. 15): Mile 810.2 – 793.1 Again

  1. JIM NYDAM

    Your stroll down memory lane must have had your thoughts jump back and forth. What a contracts and how nice to compare the two landscapes. Your tent site next to the lake is something else, how nice to set up a tent next to a lake.

    Like

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