08/04/20 – I didn’t sleep very well, which isn’t unusual for the first night on the trail. What were unusual were the animal sounds that woke me in the middle of the night. Definite sounds of footfalls and sniffing near my tent. After spending a fair amount of time envisioning myself as bear food, I unzipped my tent and stuck my head out to see what it was. I shined my headlamp around for awhile before the culprit appeared…a deer jumped over the log and into the light near my tent. Thankfully, I wouldn’t be bear food that night…
I got up early enough to watch the sunrise across the valley near camp. At the same time, the full moon was approaching the western horizon and would be setting soon. Very peaceful! Glenn had carried a couple of extra cinnamon rolls in his pack from the drive the day before. We split those as a part of our breakfast (quite a treat) and packed up for another day on the trail.
From camp, we climbed nearly 1,000′ over the next 3.2 miles to the high point of this outing (12,500′). We then descended 1,700′ in the next 4 miles. We climbed another 900′ over the following 4 miles and then descended once again to our camp at Celebration Lake (elevation 11,094′), hiking about 13 miles for the day. This part of the trail certainly had its ups and downs!
There were a large number of mountain bikers along this portion of the trail…mostly 20- and 30- somethings. We took a break with several bikers at the top of one pass late in the day, where the distinctive Lizard Head Peak came into view.
Lizard Head Peak (Right-Center)
At another resting spot, a marmot came out to greet us. It wasn’t as bashful as many of the marmots we’ve seen on other parts of the trail. Perhaps he’s used to getting treats from hikers…
Friendly (Hungry?) Marmot
We also saw a ptarmigan (northern grouse) as we approached Celebration Lake.
Ptarmigan in the Weeds
It was Chili Mac with Beef for dinner and then off to bed.
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