Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Finished - 15 miles

Today the yellow jackets were ever present in my mind. When we got up at 5:45 they were still sleeping (as would any reasonable creature) so the early part of the day was buzzing free. As we climbed the big first hills of the day the cold kept all but the elk hunkered down. Too bad I didn't have a good camera but here is what I got. The first image is before they knew were there, the second after they caught wind of hiker stink. 

Big hills today... Most of the day. The sun hit our path with rich light
and we enjoyed the trail as we climbed to the west. Then we saw Rainer. Big and bold, even with the smoke of the fires. 
Most of the morning we had this view. 
As the day wore on it got hotter and hotter when the trail was in the sun. Until we arrived at Anderson Lake, nine miles into the days hike. L was having lots of difficulty with one of her feet and it wasn't clear why she was in so much pain. Soaking her foot in the lake helped but whenever she would put back on her shoe, the pain on her heel would return with a vengeance. Finally, she decided to try and hike in her Crocs and, what do you know? No more pain! Somehow the back of her shoe was pressing on her achalies tendon and creating lots of trouble. 
So, what to do? It seemed reasonable to go on for a couple more miles. There were yellow jackets at Anderson Lake, as well as everywhere else we had stopped during the day, so we didn't relish the idea of hunkering down so early in the day, hiding from the buzzers in the tents. So off we went to Dewey Lake. 

Twelve miles into the day we arrived at Dewey Lake, nearing late afternoon.  I was tired but the same trouble was at Dewey Lake. It was, as one man had told us early earlier in the day, a very bad year for yellow jackets. Call me a wimp but having been swarmed by these critters once, I don't relish a second event. 
So we sat, L showed off her paintings/drawings and we decided to push on the last three miles to her car at Chinook Pass. Once I start thinking about real food it's hard for me to let go of the idea so, even though it was still hot, and we had a seven hundred foot climb in the sun, we pushed on. The reward was wonderful late-day sunlight. 
Back to the car and off to Packwood to eat at one of the two restaurant in town. Don't rember the name but we sat at the bar with "Burn" who is a 25 year local. 
Salad, burger and beer plus the drive back to the car in near dark. The perfect ending to a wonderful trip. Two last images. 

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