Day Six: Waptus Lake to Lemah Creek

Distance: 14.5 miles

This was one of our toughest days. By the map, it was supposed to be eight or nine miles, but the map was wrong. It turned out to be about 15 miles, much of it in the rain. At first we had a brief river walk, where Bob and I took pictures of each other on sturdy bridges, but then came 24 switchbacks to get to the "top" of Escondito Ridge. Along the way I met two more thruhikers, Buzz and Izzy, whose trail journals I had also read online.

Bob and I pose as we cross streams and rivers near Waptus Lake, Note the rain gear, including my use of a garbage bag as a pack cover.

At the "top" of the ridge we met Kevin and Chuck and had hot tea for a quick warm-up under a tree. It rained on and off as we climbed, than dropped down, then climbed again. We made it to gorgeous high country with tarns and alpine fields, but it would rain and then the sun would break out, giving the whole experience a surreal tone. Then we turned a corner and saw acres of dead trees, left over a forest fire from a few years ago. All very interesting, but this is getting to be a long day, I thought. We bumped into more hikers, who told us we were still seven miles from Lemah Creek. It was a killer going downhill, but we made it. Near the end we witnessed extraordinary scenery--a mountainside with three waterfalls and a glacier. More waterfalls were to the left. I am sure the mountain peaks would have been superb, but they were obscured by clouds.

The landscape was right out of German Romantic painting--alpine scenery that was almost too perfect .

Our campsite at Lemah Creek was next to a loud stream. We were tired and hungry and hopeful that we could start a fire to dry off our shoes and socks. It didn't take an hour this time, but it wasn't easy to get one going. Here's Bob doing his best to keep it alive. I made a messy meal using Orzo pasta--I'm sticking to angel hair pasta from now on.

Day Seven
Day Eight

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