We had a few morning errands to take care of before we could get out of town, not the least of which was breakfast. After breakfast we hit the store for a few last minute items and then it was back to the hotel room to pack up. Once the packs were good and full again we were on the road walking back to the trail a little after 9am.
We had a couple options for camps depending on how the day’s hike went. There was a creek at 19 miles and a creek at 21 miles for the day and both had noted campsites nearby. We started the day with a 2,300 foot elevation gain to get up to what is known as the Kendall Catwalk, a stretch of trail near Kendall Creek that is somewhat narrow with great views on either side. From there we proceeded down to Ridge Lake where we are lunch about 1pm. The lake was only about 7.5 miles so far but at least the majority of the climb was done, little did we know there was still tough terrain ahead.
After lunch we continued on through the Alpine Lakes wilderness around ridges that skirted the lakes below us and the rocky peaks surrounding us. The trail was mostly loose rocks which makes the hiking slower than usual and is a little rougher on the feet. It was becoming clearer that we were more likely to be heading to the camp at 19 miles tonight instead of 21 miles. Which is exactly where we ended up. Delate Creek was the name of the creek at 19 miles for the day where we camped. That leaves us just 2 days of 20 miles and then 13 miles for the last day to get to Steven’s Pass. So we will get up and do it again tomorrow.
As for the rains that were reported to come into the area and help out the fire situation, we thought we would be seeing some cloud cover tonight as the system moves in which hasn’t been the case. I don’t necessarily love hiking in the rain but if it means we get to finish the trail without missing a section I am all for it. So everybody shake your rain sticks and do your rain dances!