Three nights...check. Maybe I cheated a little by staying in the same place for two nights, but I'm ok with that. I'm sort of making up the rules as I go anyway; we will see if I actually get in both a four and five night hike next year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. So anyway, here I am on the fourth day, and it was time to pack up and head out. I was feeling more energetic than I expected, and so I kept telling myself I needed to do Hannegan Peak on my way out. The downhill switchbacks that I loved so much two days ago were heavy on my mind though...because of course this time they would be uphill.
Surprisingly I was done with them before I knew it, and as I came up to the sign for Hannegan Peak I ran into my first set of hikers...both of them going pee. "I didn't see anything" was all I said as hurried by. The peak is just a mile up and another down--no need to bring the pack, so I hid it behind a tree. First I took all the food out, and stashed it separately...it's hard to imagine anything worse than having to replace a backpack I don't even own because a squirrel chewed through it to get to the trail mix. I would take my chances on someone finding it and stealing it...what are the odds of that happening? (The squirrel thing happened to my husband once, so I think that's a more common occurrence. I have never even heard of a hiker stealing another hiker's pack...that is just unthinkable.) I did make sure to take the key out, though. Worst case scenario ever--calling Ken to tell him the last remaining key to the car is gone. As you can see in the picture, when Ken brought me the key on my first day, he made sure it was on the biggest ass carabiner he could find. Gotta love him.
Not so much. Total white out. I didn't even bother going to the tip top, because there was nothing to see.
The hike down and out was beautiful; not just in spite of the fog, but because of it. All the fall colors just popped out...and my head didn't feel like it was going to explode from the heat.
|Still a few beautiful wildflowers blooming|
|Looking (and smelling) a lot like death|
I'm so thankful for this experience, and the lessons I learned...which are:
22) Don't take your car key off your key chain to save pack weight--it is not worth the .02 pounds, trust me.
23) When your lighting the jetboil, make sure it's not turned on full blast. (I left that story out...embarrassing, but a VERY important thing to remember.)
24) Bring enough water!!! Dehydration sucks.