Friday, December 20, 2013

Hump Day---Time to Explore--2013

Last night it rained a bit and we heard some thunder and the sky lit up with lightening all around us for about three hours before just rain continued through the night. In the morning the skies opened. Wednesday the 4th is a personal day where we can just rest or explore around camp or check out some nearby trails. After breakfast, Leon--the preacher from Omak---and I decided to hike to a nearby Lake Vicente, less than 4 miles round trip.

Before heading out, our breakfast treat was huckleberry pancakes from huckleberries we had gathered the night before. Ben--an experienced WTA intern and a UW computer science student--had decided that it was better to drop the huckleberries on the top of the poured pancakes rather than mixing it into the batter. Here Vivian and I are lining up to test out Ben's theory.

The weather is clearing as Leon and I head south on the PCT to the Vicente Lake trail cutoff. It was a pleasant hike because the weather was good and we were traveling light.

On the Vicente Lake trail we paused for pictures by a zen type clearing with the Cathedral Rock looming in the background with blue skies.
The trail to Vicente Lake was relatively an easy climb until we reached the final wall where we ended up using our hands and feet to scramble up the last 500 feet. Here is the view from the top of this wall.

After enjoying the view down the valley, we were eager to head over the top of the wall to see what Lake Vicente would look like and we were not disappointed.

This is the view to the south east cirque with snow lingering at the edges of this aquamarine mountain lake.

Here is the view to the outlet to the northwest.

Leon is soaking in the beautiful views few other people ever see. He said that none of his sermons could ever capture the beauty and majesty of what he sees here and other areas of the Cascades.

I am enjoying the beauty and purity of Lake Vincente in my WTA volunteer T shirt and my orange Feathered Friends wind-shirt.
I like how WTA has this mid week break from our trail work because we tend to overdue our work effort in the first few days and this gives us a chance to recharge our bodies for work to come.
As we returned to the Pacific Crest Trail and our camp at Deep Lake it was so obvious to determine who the Labor Day hikers were and who were thru hikers who had started their hikes from the Mexican border around mid April thru May. The short time hikers had newer equipment which was much heavier and the thru hikers had very small packs, usually trekking poles, running shoes rather than boots, and a steady pace and a gaunt, grubby look. Thru hikers were also eager to eat anything you offered them.
We got back to camp just as the long missing Forest Service wrangler was unloading the culverts that we were waiting for. She was using this trip to break in some new service mules---she also had no idea who Robert was.

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