Sep 022009

posted at

August 25, 2009
Day 2 of backpacking trip

Owww. As I lay here tonight I can feel my sore muscles from hauling the heavy pack.

We are camped near a stream and can hear the trickle of water that sounds like rain. Tonight we are at the Hoh Lake Campsite which is more secluded that last night’s spot. Here there are only 4 total sites and only one other group is here with us. We saw bears across the lake from us and were very careful to put everything in the bear cans.

Back to today though… This morning was rainy. I woke up at 1am to the rain and we had to dash out of the tent to put the rain-fly on. This is never fun to do in the rainy darkness. The reason we don’t like to put the rain-fly on the tent unless it rains (and is necessary to keep the rain out) is that it makes the tent air hot and unmoving with no ventilation.

In any case, we were happy with our sleeping bags as it was cold out there! Once back in the tent we fell asleep rather quickly. The bag kept me toasty warm even though I’m sure it dropped below 50 at night.

It was still raining at 7 am, so we stayed inside the tent a little longer until it stopped. I forgot to check the morning temp, but when we felt warm again, it was 52 out.

We went down to Deer Lake again to make breakfast and by the time we were all packed up, it was close to 10am. So, we had a late start to today. The packs nestled back on our bruised hip bones and we were off to climb, climb, climb. We climbed for about 4 miles.

We saw tons of blueberry bushes and hiked out of the tree line to some gorgeous views of the valleys below. I believe we got up too about 5000 feet at the top. We were overlooking the Seven Lakes Basin and we stopped for a break. There are several lakes scattered below all completely still and reflecting the trees back at us. The lakes are incredibly blue much like the glacial fed ones we say in Glacier National Park.

We were at the top of a peak, so behind us was a view of a different valley with Olympic mountains in the distance. Soon, our view was obscured as the clouds rolled in, up and over the mountain. The temps dropped to 45 and windy as we watched the clouds roll down into the Seven Lakes Basin.

It was time to go. From here it was mostly flat going and we went quite a bit faster. On our way to Hoh Lake we started hearing what sounded like someone’s warning whistle. There was way too much open area (as we were on the ridge line of the mountains over several valleys) to tell where it was coming from, so we proceeded with caution. Soon we found a black bear down the hill from us. The wind was blowing in our faces and the bear was meandering away, so we continued and found ourselves soon overlooking Hoh Lake. It was beautiful! The lake was a deep blue with people fishing on it. The only problem was the lake was way below us. This means we had to hike down to the lake for the night and then up the same way we came in for tomorrow’s hike. More climbing….but that’s tomorrow.

On the way down we watched a bear forage on the opposite side of the lake from the campsites. The people fishing told us that the bear had just been on the campsite side. In fact, they had been screaming at the bear to make it go away. There was a ~12 year old girl who had been screaming at the bear, so we figured that was the warning sounds we heard from up top.

Tonight we were much smarter at setting up camp. After setting up the tent, we took everything we might need to the lake for a relaxing dinner. We had all our toiletries with us as well to clean up, and then everything went in the bear can. We left the cans there and came back to the tent for the night.

While sitting at the lake we had several deer nearly walk right up to us to see what we were doing there.

We tried to make a pudding dessert tonight as it had to sit in a cold lake, but it didn’t gel and we weren’t hungry for it. Luckily this site had a bear wire, so we hung our pudding on the bear wire. The bear wire was an interesting and hard to describe set up, but we were able to make it work. Basically the point is to get the food 12′ in the air or higher and between trees where a bear can’t climb and reach it.

Now it is time for sleep so we can haul our packs further tomorrow. The packs are feeling quite heavy and we are wondering what all we didn’t need to bring with us. We have to haul it all now, of course. =)

Weather during the day was in the 50s. We hiked 5.9 miles at an average speed of 1.8mph (not including stopping time)

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