PCT Day 59: Desolation can be a good thing

Monday, 3 September 2018

Lake Richardson (1534) – Lake Susie Outlet (1551): 17 miles / 583 total miles walked

It was a warm night, and while I still enjoyed having a warm hat (btw I absolutely LOVE my new hat) it wasn’t cold enough to make me need gloves. And the best of all, camping next to a lake and waking up with no condensation inside the tarp. Priceless.

The day started with a climb, as usual. I am still impressed with this electric green moss that is just lying around everywhere and when I found a stick covered with it, and one of the huge pinecones that are so abundant here, I had an impromptu coronation moment……with Sink being the officiator. Queens of the PCT indeed. 😂

I also found berries that look a lot like a wild variation of gooseberries, I didn’t try them though.

The trail meandered through light forest, over granite and around boulders. About two miles into today we entered the Desolation Wilderness and so far I have to say that although it’s quiet out here, I don’t feel desolate at all. I actually love it, although I’m still struggling with the altitude a bit.

Desolation (n.): /ËŒdÉ›səˈleɪʃən’/

1 : extreme sadness caused by loss or loneliness
2 : the condition of a place or thing that has been damaged in such a way that it is no longer suitable for people to live in : the state or condition of being desolate

As soon as the lakes came into view, I felt such joy to be able to be out here, although it’s hard at times, I wouldn’t trade this for anything right now.

Our lunch spot was by Middle Velma Lake and we were entertained by a duck doing ducky things all around the lake. Also, a nice older gentleman came by and chatted with us for a while. He’s just out here for 4 days, and his pack is so tiny. 😯 Most of the weekend hikers have humongous packs, so good for him. 😊

Onwards after inhaling some calories and along the shore of Fontanilli Lake, an absolute gem.

After the lake, the climb up to Dicks Pass begins in earnest. But somehow, even though I climb 1000ft in less than two miles, it feels less exhausting than all those tiny uphills we’ve done in the last few days. Sometimes the trail just makes no sense. So I keep huffing and puffing my way up until I reach the top at almost 9400ft elevation.

I spent about 20 minutes at the top, enjoying the phone service, uploading pictures to the blog and scheduling new posts, before the wind forced me to move on.

The remaining few miles to camp were supposed to be a nice, easy descent, and instead turned into an annoying obstacle course with various sizes of rocks to navigate.

In some parts, the trail was bordered by large poles, which I used to balance along, instead of walking over even more unsteady talus and gravel. It’s so taxing for the ankles, and it really hurts my feet.

So I was really happy to make it to camp, a nice open area close to running water. And only 9 miles to civilization tomorrow.

Keeping you posted…

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