(this was actually after some of the fog had burned off)
Bill and I both agreed that we were happy to have hiked down from Happy Camp last night rather than this morning- walking on the narrow trail would have been tricky! And, we would have missed some beautiful scenery!
It was early in the morning and our bodies were exhausted from yesterday’s challenging day, so we fell back asleep. Today we didn’t need to rush to be out of camp and we didn’t have all that far to go, so we knew we could have a lazy morning.
Sometime between 8 and 9 (rough guess?) we woke up for good and headed down to make some breakfast. It was still pretty foggy unfortunately, but I was hopeful it would burn off as the day wore on.
This morning’s breakfast was oatmeal and hot chocolate. We brought Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Indulgence mix and added a little powdered milk. Holy Yum! It may have been the setting, but that hot chocolate was the absolute best.
At breakfast, there were several others who had made it into camp late the night before as well as our new friends Jared, Julie and Trevor. We were all enjoying our meals when we heard some voices off towards the lake.
More hikers! They had left Happy Camp uber early that morning to start their day. They commented about the thick fog on their journey down to Deep Lake and told us they were continuing on to Bare Loon Lake, just like the rest of us. They rested for a few minutes before continuing on, and we told them we’d see them at Bare Loon.
Today’s journey was a 3 mile hike to Lineman City and then we’d continue on another 3 miles to Bare Loon Lake (mile 29).
The miles to Lindeman City passed pretty quickly. There was lots of greenery and rushing rapids all around us.
You definitely didn’t want to fall down there.
When we were just outside of Lindeman City, we started to see lots of piles of poop. When we arrived at Lindeman City, we discovered why:
A mama bear and two cubs had been pretty active at this campsite, so we kept our eyes peeled as much as we could. I joked with Bill though that we may have walked right past bears and not known it because we were too busy watching our feet and where we were going!
Earlier on the trail, we chatted with a park ranger who mentioned that there was an “artist in residence” program happening on the trail this week, and the artist would be at Lindeman City for the day. Curious, we stopped by to check out her art work. She was hiking the trail and painting scenes from the trail when she was in camp. It was pretty neat to see an artist’s rendition of where we had just hiked.
Lindeman City also had some small canvas “houses” set up, with historical pictures and placards set up. We peeked in one and there were several people in it already and not much room for anyone else, so we opted to skip it and head to Bare Loon. Looking back, I kinda wish we had explored a little there, but oh well.
The last three miles for the day were probably the most boring of the entire trail. It was very dry and very rocky. I thought it was also the ugliest part of the trail. However, off in the distance, we spotted what we hoped was Bennett Lake, the end of the trail.
The end was in sight- we were almost done! It was kind of sad though, because we had spent so much time and effort planning and executing this hike. Now, we were only a short ways from it all being over. We pushed those thoughts aside because we still had a little ways to go today and then 4 more miles tomorrow. Ha, only after going 25+ miles do you say 4 miles is “a short ways”.
In early afternoon, we made it to Bare Loon. We were one of the first people to camp, so we had many options for where we wanted to set up. We picked a platform close to the lake with an outstanding view:
I went down and felt the water and it was a little chilly. However, a few brave souls took a dip while we were there!
Bill set up the tent, and by now, he was an expert.
Our home for the night
We had arrived in camp early enough that we sat outside the tent and relaxed while munching on some trail mix. It was so peaceful and quiet out here besides the occasional caw of the seagull.
I had a slight headache all day that was starting to get worse, so I decided to go inside the tent and take a short nap. I don’t think I really slept; it was too bright and it was getting noisier as more campers arrived for the night. So Bill and I decided to head up to the food hut to have dinner. I still wasn’t feeling super, but I put on a happy face and sat with Bill as he prepared our Rice Sides (chicken flavor). We shared a table with our friends from Deep Lake, and the other tables were occupied by other campers we had met along the trail. Everyone was talking and laughing and eating- but the smell of the food was not appetizing to me. So, I sat there, figuring I was still full from my lunchtime snacks and tried to chime in when I could. But my head was pounding and I was starting to feel slightly nauseous. We quickly wrapped up our meal and headed back to the tent where I immediately laid down. I took 2 ibuprofen, hoping that would help my headache go away. Bill was getting pretty worried and so was I. I started to wonder if I was dehydrated. I thought I had been pretty good about drinking water all day, but I asked Bill to check the level on my Camelbak. When he pulled it out, I had only drank half a liter. That plus the half liter I drank at breakfast was DEFINITELY not enough. Bill tried to get me to start drinking some water, but my tummy felt full, and I didn’t really want to drink any. But I knew the situation could go from bad to worse in an instant, so I had him prepare some Skratch . I slowly but surely force-fed myself the electrolyte enhanced water. I went to the bathroom for the first time since we’d left camp this morning (this should have been my first sign I was dehydrated!) and came back and continued to drink a liter of Skratch. When that was gone, I switched to the water in my pack. Finally, my headache started to dissipate and my stomach felt settled.
Relieved, we climbed into our sleeping bags and headed to bed for the night. I was thankful to be feeling better, but lesson learned- hydration is extremely important and I need to be hyper vigilant about it!