Day 144-September 4th
Destination: Hope Lake
Cumulative Miles: 2144
It was a cold morning, and thankfully we started with a good healthy 1000 foot climb. Naturally this was followed by dropping about 1000 feet only to climb 2000 feet, drop 1000 feet, and climb another 1000 feet before descending a little over 1000 feet to camp.
The guidebook described a stream crossing as treacherous, and suggested an alternate route. We chose to ignore the guidebook, and head towards the treacherous waters, only to find a relatively difficult but completely manageable stream crossing. We did take our boots off to ford the water, but it never went above our knees and only sounded intimidating because of the fierce rapids above and below the crossing point.
After crossing, we made a 1000 foot climb up to Deception Lakes, where we found a stunning campsite to do lunch at. The sky was patched with clouds, but there was enough sun for us to dry our slightly wet gear.
Marmots and pikas were abundant in today's hike. As we passed over large fields of white and black granite, we heard the whistling of the marmots. We had thought until recently the whistling was some sort of bird, but now we have seen the marmots whistle. Also the "eeep" or maybe "eeeek" or perhaps "peeeeh" of the pikas, we had thought were birds. Now we have seen the small mouse like mammal peer at us over the granite and make the sound. All through the crossing of the granite boulders and rocks, the pikas chattered all day long.
All total for the day, we climbed roughly 6700 feet, and dropped the same. While this is not a large number for a day, it is significantly higher than your typical day on the trail. The rain is starting to fall on our tent, tomorrow may prove to be another wet monstrosity. Fortunately we are only 8.5 miles from town.
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