Daily Miles: 14
2021 CDT Total Miles: 517
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2590
It was a pretty warm night last night. It is generally warmer sleeping on the ground instead of a hammock, but the temperatures were surely higher as well. Since we’re not used to sleeping on the ground, it was a pretty rough night of sleep…lots of tossing and turning. At least we were camped away from the others, so we didn’t keep them up with our restless movements.
We headed out a little after 7am. We walked to the other end of Red Eagle Lake where there was another campsite. We saw the folks at that campsite heading out in the opposite direction. We continued up the valley which looked like it was part of the same forest fire from many years ago. It looked like the fire went all the way up the sides of bluffs, where all the trees were dead.
The trail was mostly lined with thimbleberry plants but no berries. It is starting to look like fall is approaching…the huckleberry leaves are turning red and the thimbleberry leaves are turning various shades of yellow, orange and red.
Eventually we came over a knoll and had Saint Mary Lake in front of us. We would end up walking along its length for hours this afternoon. We could see cars on the other side of the lake, driving along the famous Going To The Sun Road. We have heard great things about this road built right through the park and hope to get a chance to drive it before we leave the area.
The trail along the lake was pretty overgrown most of the way. Thimbleberry plants were often as tall as us and completely covering the trail. We tried to make noise as we walked to make sure we didn’t surprise a bear along the trail.
We came to a junction with an area which is obviously a very popular day hike destination. Virginia Falls and Saint Mary Falls are close to each other and are pretty stunning waterfalls. Based on the number of folks we saw in this short stretch, we figure it is probably high on the “must see” list for park visitors…we can certainly understand the draw.
After a few miles, we turned off the popular trail and were back on a quiet trail, headed to our designated campsite, Reynolds Creek campsite. Luckily the campsite is among live trees and we were able to hang our hammocks again…yeah! We are looking forward to a good night of sleep.
Just a few minutes after we arrived and chose our campsites, fellow campers showed up to take the last site. We were glad we didn’t show up any later, because there was really only one good site for hammocking, and we got it.
We spent awhile down at the creek, where there were big flat rocks to relax on. We did laundry, ate dinner and just chatted. It was a really nice way to wrap up the day.
We are all in bed before 7pm. From our hammocks, we have a perfect view of the Going To The Sun mountain. It is hard to believe we only have four more days left on the trail.