Perfect weather again today with a brisk morning and afternoon sun warming things up then cooling off again before dark. The terrain was a mix of up and down, but nothing big and nothing steep. I should now be within easy striking distance of my next resupply.
I woke up just after 5 am this morning and was about to start up my music when a headlight started shining in on me from the trail. I’m not sure if it was a hiker or a hunter, but they were obviously intrigued by my hammock because they kept shining on me the whole time. If it was a hiker, they were southbound and an eager beaver. I applaud their initiative to get in the miles early.
I listened to music until nearly 6 am and was able to get packed up and out at 6:30. I drank a little of my coffee and ate a poptart to start the morning. It was cold enough to need my warm hat but I didn’t need the warm gloves or a jacket. The first five miles were in thick woods blanketed in huckleberry bushes.
Late in the morning, more meadows and lakes started appearing. The trail most of the day was on the side slopes and was only level in the meadow and lake areas before it would turn to side slopes again. Where I stopped for lunch was a campsite where most of the ground was pretty sloped. I had a good log to sit on and level ground to cook, so that’s all that mattered.
Early in the afternoon I entered the Goat Rocks Wilderness whete you can supposedly see mountain goats most of the time. I did not see any, and I was keeping an eye out for them. As the trail exited the wilderness it entered the Yakima reservation and immediately turned to big sky trail again. It thought I was back in Sonora pass. It was beautiful, but had me nervous because it was all above treeline and it was getting late enough that I needed to find a campsite, but a hammock above treeline can be problematic. I had also run out of water and needed at least a liter just to camp.
I got lucky, because after the pass that exited the reservation was still above treeline, but had several snowmelt streams and the guide said two campsites were near by. All of the streams I passed had no trees so I kept going to the next one hoping it would have at least one tree I could hang the water bag to let the gravity filter do its work without me having to hold it up for fifteen minutes. The last stream before the campsites had a good sized waterfall and a perfect tree, so I loaded up two liters for camp.
The campsite was less than a quarter mile after the waterfall and I was able to find two perfect trees for the hammock. There were some weekend hikers already set up there so we chatted a bit. I set up quickly, ate a good dinner, and bedded down for the night.
Just in case you were wondering, Starkist light tuna in sunflower oil is the best. I could eat another one right now. I never would have imagined I would still be this in love with tuna packets, but I am. And also, ghee in mashed potatoes rocks the cookpot pretty hard. I might have to listen to AC/DC tonight. That’s how hard the ghee rocks.