Day Seven: Alpine Meadows to Buck Creek Pass
|Distance: 12 miles
By this point in the trip, our backs were lighter and we were used to long-dstance hiking. So 12 miles seemed like nothing, especialy since the first three were on a road and the next nine were on a well-groomed trail that made me think I was back on the PCT.
There was plenty of water on this stretch and since it was Labor Day weekend, more hiker than we had seen in a long time. In fact, when we got to Buck Creek Pass, where we planned to camp, there were hordes of backpakers. Fortunately there were lots of campsites too. The guidebooks warned us that this is a very popular place, and I could see why. An easy nine miles would get you right next to Glacier Peak--stunning views if the clouds lifted. However, they socked in most of the mountain except for the lower half. Even that was impressive since its powerful glaciers were so close. But I didn't take a photo because I was hoping the clouds would lift (they never did).
Buck Creek Pass is at 5,900 feet. It was the highest campsite of the trip. I could tell it was going to be a cold night when I had every piece of clothing on right after our supper. Bob told us that he had discovered an abandoned trail that led to a beautiful, quiet alpine meadow, so after eating, we followed him to the spot. It took us about 20 minutes to get there, but it was a beautiful vale with large boulders and no people. In the distance we could still see Fortress Mountain in the sunlight. We scrambled on top of a boulder and posed for some pictures.
Back at the camp, it was the coldest night of the trip. I wore several layers of clothing to bed just to stay warm. Also, to dry out my socks, on some nights I would wear wet socks to bed. thanks to my body heat, they would be dry by the morning. But this evening was too cold to try that trick. Good thing I had a down bag.
|Bob found an abandoned trail that took us to a secret garden.|
|Here's another photo from Bob's Secret Garden. Left to right, Kevin, Bob and Chuck.|