Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 122- Three Fingered Jack

From mile 2008 to mile ?

My dream knew it was raining on me before I did. I woke up moments after someone commented in my dream that it was raining to find drops landing on my face and sleeping bag. I grabbed my headlamp and my tent and quickly got it spread out so I could work on setting it up with it protecting my bag. I had a moment of dislocation when I couldn't remember where I put my trekking poles, but I found them, and the tent was up in minutes. Thankfully it was a light rain and I went back to sleep with the sound of rain on nylon. It's a nice sound.

It was a slow start to the morning. Waking up at midnight to put up a tent and then on and off through the night makes for a very tired morning. There was also the excuse that the tent needed to dry before being packed up. Once hiking I was glad to see that we weren't the last ones to leave camp or have a slow start. We passed Iceman Dan taking down his tent.

The first part of the morning was spent going through the burn area. It wasn't as bad as it could have been-the rain had cooled off the day. Even in full sunlight there was a chill in the air.

I was maybe more tired than I thought because it felt like the trail in the morning was all uphill. I'm sure that wasn't the case, but a hard day can really color your perspective on what the trail was like. I always try to keep that in mind if I ask someone traveling the opposite way as me what the trail was like--you never know who woke up with rain drops on their face.

Three Fingered Jack
All that uphill did give a pretty awesome view of Three Fingered Jack. We went right up on the side of the peak and right below the rock spires that gave the peak its name. It felt like the closest the trail had gone to a peak in awhile.
Right after walking below the spires we stopped for lunch in a little shady campsite. Portrait insisted on the shade although I ended up basking in the sun. I even fell asleep for a bit. It was really pleasant.

After lunch I felt like the whole hike was about getting to the next (and only) water source. When we left camp we thought water was ten miles away, and hadn't realized until later that the water was 13 miles away. I usually get by on two liters for ten miles-and I'll get there empty. I knew I'd run out around mile ten.

We had a snack break overlooking a lake down in the valley and I accidentally sucked down nearly a half liter of water leaving me with a third for four miles. I ended up running out when I stopped for another snack about two miles from the lake. It was nice not to be carrying heavy water for a few miles.

At the lake I drank a liter and took three more for dry camping. Portrait and I planned to hike until 7:45 then camp. Picking up my water bloated pack I was tempted to lobby for dinner at the lake than hiking (while knowing I would than lobby for camping at the lake).

The trail took us up to an exposed windy ridge. Now the day didn't have a hint of chill, it had gusts of chilliness. The views were nice, but the wind was harsh. Around 6:30 we came to a lovely wind-free campsite with a stunning view of Jefferson. I wanted to stay, but Portrait talked me into pushing on. 

Mount Jefferson
For awhile the trail went on a side hill and it didn't look good for camping. Portrait saw a clearing about .2 downhill off the ridge on the windless side. I could see pines up ahead and talked him into trying further up the trail. The pines gave decent shelter to a wide flat area with a great view of Jefferson. Portrait didn't like it, he wanted to hike back to the off trail clearing, and he stopped talking to me while I set up camp. I ate dinner with Jefferson while watching the golden light play on his flanks and Portrait sulked at the campsite.

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