Another good day with lots of miles, several deer (one of which was walking close behind me), a bear, views of the lake and a dry campsite. Some drops of rain over night…not much, just enough to flip our tarps over us. Pretty warm night. So far the 20* quilt has been a bit too warm but considering some shipping hassle to make sure we have warmer gear for the JMT, it is fine.
Shortly after starting out, we met a TRT hiker named Marmot. She had probably camped within a mile or two of us. We chatted with her for a bit and then ran into three young women camped just down hill from where we had camped. They were also hiking the TRT and were friends that were living in different parts of the US. About 20 min after talking with them, we met a guy who had just started onto the trail this morning…he was from Oregon. Nice guy that we talked with for probably 15min. The thru-hikers we meet this morning are all going in the opposite direction, so maybe we’ll see them on the other side of the lake. We have been surprised by how few hikers we have seen so far. The only night we have slept with another hiker was at Star Lake on the second day.
Still in the early am walk, we saw a bear about 70 yards up the trail. He was right next to the trail and looking right at us. We had stopped to look at something else and could hear some noise and then was able to make him out… though at first glance he looked like a stump with the mix of gold and brown color. He was there for just a few moments and then headed away into the woods.
We got to Spooner Lake this morning for a water supply (about 1/2 mile off trail). The water was pretty slimy along the edge of the lake and Beardoh was able to reach out far enough to get water that was acceptable. We rinsed out only the minimal clothes, as the water was pretty dirty. Once we got our water we headed back to the trail and started our assent to the Marlette Campground where we would be able to get water from their pump well.
We ate lunch on the trail with great views of the lake. In the afternoon when we came around some bald high mountain meadows, we saw a couple deer. One was pretty much following Sweet Pea down the trail. Beardoh just happened to turn around and see him. He was an 8 point buck. The rack was still small as it is early in the year. A bit later we saw another 8 pointer that was darker enough to convince us that he wasn’t the same deer we had seen earlier.
We ate a first dinner at the campground and then loaded up with water for our overnight camping. Brian was kind enough to carry an extra two liters of water that we’ll be able to use tomorrow. We decided to take a side trail (1.2 miles round trip) that went out to a lookout over Sandy Harbor. The views were great and the bonus was that we got to watch three paragliders over the lake. The paragliders were pretty fun to watch as they would gain altitude very quickly and flew very fast in general. The view at sand harbor is supposedly one that is the most photographed on the lake. It was an excellent view for sure, and there really has been a lot of awesome views everyday.
Although it was fun to hangout at the view point, we knew we needed to keep going so we could make it to camp by 7:00. We found a reasonable place to camp (turns out we are camping illegally tonight). Sweetpea has an evening ritual of setting up her hammock and then cleaning up her legs and feet from all the dust they acquired during the day. Once she’s clean and has her long johns on, she is ready to eat. Beardoh is usually eating first, because he cleans up after dinner. We managed to get into our hammocks around 8:15. One of Sweetpea’s blisters from yesterday did good today, but the other one is not so hot…the blister is under the toe nail and pretty sensitive. She has another toe which is quite painful now…it is the usual culprit for toe pain, plus it had the added pain of her recent toe sprain. We are hoping for some relief to come soon to her feet!
Daily Miles: 18.1 miles
Total Miles: 72 miles