Monday, July 19, 2010
A Ridge Walk
Destination: MM 1546ish
Cumulative Miles: 1306.5
We slept in two hours this morning. Our bodies needed to catch up from the lack of sleep yestereve. Fortunately, the day was relatively easy so we were still able to make decent miles.
Our walk followed a ridge most of the day, occasionally dipping down off the top to pass by some water sources. This was a welcome drop, as we had a small scare in the morning. Our first water source was dry, and we were facing ten dry hot miles with one liter of water between us. We had to stop and melt snow, as their were no runoff streams and the snow was melting into the soil, to emerge as a spring some place far down hill.
Late in the afternoon, while crossing a large rock slide we saw a deer. The deer looked at us and either decided we were not a threat, or realized it had nowhere to run. It would easily have hurt itself if it left the trail, as large granite boulders teetered precariously on one other flanked the trail. The tread itself was somewhat difficult to walk on, so the deer just casually sauntered ahead of us for several minutes. We didn't want to scare it into running on dangerous ground, so we slowed our pace until the deer found her own way off the trail.
Not long after seeing the deer, we passed Deadfall Lakes. Ten minutes past the lakes, we ran into a family out on an overnight hike. The two girls jumped happily along the trail. Their less then eight years of age bodies free of the burden of packs moved effortlessly and happily. Pulling up the rear, and asking, "how much further," was their father who was carrying a pack overrun with all the gear. The extra sleeping bags and pads pounced along as he trod slowly up. Surely he collapsed at Deadfall Lakes before doing anything.
A few miles later we found camp atop a ridge freckled with tiny yellow flowers and a stunning view of Mt. Shasta as the sun casts red hue across the snowless patches.
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