June 1, 2017: Hiked Miles 759.1 to 774.7 (15.6 total)
After our horrific day yesterday and a very cold, wet night I didn’t wake up until 6:45 this morning. I didn’t want to ever get out of bed. We waited until the sun came over the mountain and started shining on our tent get out and start the day.
Luckily the storm had passed and it was a sunny morning. Still freezing cold, but at least sunny. We set all of our wet gear out again to dry and ate breakfast and tried to warm up.
Here’s what a bear canister looks like in case you were wondering.
My breakfast biscuits had encouraging words on them which made me smile and remember that everything was going to be ok.
We made our way down the hill until we hit Rock Creek, our first big creek crossing. We found a little campground there with a bear box that probably isn’t getting much use this year.
We could hear the creek long before we got there, which is never a good sign. We got to where the trail is supposed to cross it and there was no possibility of safely crossing. It was flowing way too strong and was much too deep to even think about getting in. We started wandering up and down trying to find a good place to cross. We started in a few spots before realizing they wouldn’t work and came out ice cold. After an hour of looking we came back to the first place I had tried that had a little island of bushes half submerged in the middle with a few branches almost connecting one of it’s sides to the shore. We decided to try it since we figured we had already waded to the island and could use the branches on the other side to scramble across since the current was stronger there.
I went first and when I got to the branches it got a little sketchy trying to balance on them with my backpack trying to throw me head over heels. I threw all our poles on the shore and crawled across the branches and safely made it to the other side. Colton got across right after and we ran to the first dry grass we could see to warm up and dry off.
After spending so much time crossing the creek, the snow had already started getting mushy and the next few hours were a constant battle to find the trail and try not to fall every other step flat on your face.
We came across a handful more hikers which was very encouraging to know that we weren’t the only crazies out here.
With the clouds gone, we got some great views of the beautiful valleys, mountains, and lakes we were hiking through.
We didn’t stop for lunch until almost 3:00, trying to get as many miles as we could in before we were just walking through straight water. We aired all our gear out again and finally dried most everything out. Besides our shoes. I don’t think they will ever dry out.
We crossed another creek, where luckily we found some better logs to cross and didn’t have to get wet.
Our plan for the day was to get within five miles of Forester Pass so that we could get up early in the morning and hike it while the snow was still hard. But that meant a long afternoon hiking through crappy snow to get that far.
We finally made it to where we wanted to camp. We were so excited to see a bunch of other tents there too. There was a huge creek nearby for water, but there was definitely not any dry ground. Guess we would be getting our first official snow-camping experience. The sun had already gone behind the mountains at this point and I was so cold with feet that had been numb for hours. I seriously expected my toes to just fall off when I took my shoes off. But they didn’t.
We set our tent up on the snow, tried to get warm, and chatted with the other people who were camping there. Two of the guys were already fast asleep in their tent as they were planning on getting up at 3:00 to hike Forester and the others were taking a short day tomorrow to hike to the base of the pass and do it the next day. I started to get a little nervous that we had underestimated this mountain so we pushed back our wake up time to 4:30 instead of 6:00.
We ate in our tent and didn’t lie down for bed until around 10:00, which meant we were going to be in for an early morning. And probably a wet one too.