Thursday, October 4, 2012

Copper Ridge

After such a fitful night's rest, I was so happy to finally see a little light in the sky--morning had arrived at last! I wasn't even upset that it was starting to rain a little, as long as I could get out of that tent, all was good. (Plus Rick made me bring his good rain coat just in case, so I was set.)

I was on the trail by 8:00 and ready to make it to the lookout come hell or high water. My original plan was to head toward Whatcom pass and try to make it to the river cable car crossing before heading back, because that sounded super cool. When I told the ranger this (at Glacier) she tactfully let me know I was not going to make it--unless I was a trail runner or something. (Most definitely not.) So Copper Ridge it was--and I was glad I had an end goal, because that always helps me keep going.

The trail started out in the woods, and because of the rain it was dark and sort of spooky. Again, bears were on my mind-- I just didn't even want to see one because I knew I would be terrified, even though I doubt it would even give me much notice. I picked up a couple rocks and banged them together while walking, and it really helped me keep a pace and feel safe.

I would get glimpses of mountains every once in a while. I would always stop and take a picture, not knowing if I'd see anymore; what with the clouds and all. I enjoyed the mystical quality the clouds gave them...maybe even more than a blue sky backdrop.

The day just kept getting better and better, and the views grander and grander. I finally let my rocks go--it was all too amazing to think about bears.
Egg Lake. There are campsites here--how beautiful!

I ran into my first hikers when I was almost to the lookout. They were ending a 4 night loop. "Are you camping at Boundary?"...I know I sounded overly excited, but I really didn't want to spend another night by myself. Nope, they were headed to Hannegan. One of the guys said, "You should switch, there's a ranger at the lookout that can do that for you. We are so sick of talking to each other, it would be great to hang out with someone else. Party at Hannegan!" Oh my--I think I would have done just about anything to party with other humans...especially this group, because they were so friendly. But pack all my stuff up and head up and over the pass after a full day of hiking? Ugh, I just didn't think I had it in me.

I don't think the ranger thought I had it in me either, because when I asked, she offered to call to see if anyone else was going to be at Boundary. She told me two groups were coming in, so I knew I wouldn't be alone. I was still tempted a little to switch--I doubted anyone at Boundary was going to want to "party"; (and they didn't) but my sensible side won out. Trying to put up a tent in the dark is not my thing--I learned that the hard way.  

After talking with the ranger and asking a bunch of questions she's probably answered a thousand times, I finally got up the courage to ask if I could take my picture with her. Rangers are like the rockstars of the outdoors--that's how I see it anyway. She invited me to "tour" the lookout, and even offered me some freshly baked dumplings. I told her and the volunteer working with her about my blog and they said they'd try to look it up. So, if you ever find this--hello Lucy and Laura!!! You gals are awesome!
The trip back was uneventful, except that I ran out of water with 2 whole hours to go. Not good--I will not make that mistake again. Another lesson I learned is this: dehydration + nasty dehydrated mac and cheese dinner = extremely unhappy digestive system. Even though "backwoods" toilets scare the hell out of me, in this case I was happy that Boundary Camp provided one. TMI...sorry...I'll stop now. One more post for my final day and I'll be done.
A thin place in the trail that felt like a skinny bridge, with mountains on both sides. Pretty thrilling.


  1. hellllloooo!! This is Laura & Lucy from the Copper Ridge Lookout - so glad we could find your blog! Hope you are continuing to have the most amazing adventures - best of luck to you on your journey! you are a rockstar!

  2. Wow!!! I can't believe you guys found me! You just totally made my day. :) It was so great meeting you both...and now you will forever be in my heart, and on my blog. ;)

  3. Hello, I enjoyed your blog. My wife and I tried the Copper Ridge Loop the first week in October of 2011. We made it three days in and to pack it in. It rained steadily the whole time we were there and upon waking the third morning we could not get anything to dry out. However, during our time out there we were astounded by the beauty of everything we saw. We are from Florida and that trip was simply amazing. We will be returning in September of this year for another attempt at completing the loop. Reading stories like yours encourages us even more to get out there and finish.