(continued from http://kellbell-whywouldanyonereadthis.blogspot.com/2013/08/spider-gap-buck-creek-pass-loop-part-2.html )
It seems that if you've taken a three mile detour to see an amazing view of a lake, you should at least suck it up and go the one mile more to actually see it. Though, considering the circumstances, can you blame me for not giving a crap? I figured I had about five to six more hours of hiking to get to Middle Ridge (the next stop to "tent"--with no tent, of course) and I had no time to waste. So, with a "screw you" to Image Lake, I turned right around and headed back to the main trail.
|This loop takes you for a few miles on the PCT...pretty cool|
|A little taste of the PCT|
I hiked, and hiked, and hiked, and hiked. There was one little camp site I didn't know about, in the woods just before you start the real push up. Very cute--right next to a stream. I took off my pack and stocked up on water, thinking it may be my last chance. (It wasn't...not by a long shot. Middle Ridge is a dry camp, so you need to get your water sometime before you get there; though I could have waited at least an hour) I really thought about staying there, but I had heard there was a spot on Middle Ridge that had "the best views ever". I just had to go for it.
|Happy little trees...looks like Bob Ross painted it himself|
|Glacier Peak in morning glory|
At this time two men came over the ridge and asked if I minded sharing my site, because they couldn't take another step. Boy, did I get it; and of course there was plenty of room. They took one look at my monstrosity of a tarp covering and asked if I could use some help. Hell yes! Saved again by those who know what they are doing--hallelujah!
|Thank you Peter and Earl! I'm so mad this picture is so blurry.|
It looked good to me when I took it...
which says a lot about my brain function at the time
I am always so humbled by other hikers. They had all kinds of extra rope, extra water (I was almost out) extra poncho in case my tent failed (though now it was new and improved and even upright!)...those guys had everything. I loved Peter's ancient looking cooking pots. They have seen their fair share of adventures, I am sure. They were just so nice to me, and I am forever grateful for their kindness.
I woke up early, and was excited to hike up a short side path that went even higher to see the sunrise. It's these moments that make it all worth it. No words to describe...and the pictures are garbage compared to the real thing. You just have to go there yourself.
I left at 7:30 in the morning and didn't stop. Hiking, hiking, hiking, hiking. The views over Buck Creek Pass...the best ever, really. But as soon as I was headed down, I was over it. And let me tell you, the slog out is LONG, boring, and fu@#ing endless. I was SOOOO over it. I finally stopped at a camp I came to in the woods--the black flies were making me crazy, but I had to stop. A pair of hikers past me by on their way out. They said I had 4 miles to go. (they had hiked in that way the day before) Deep breath...just four more miles.
|A mirror is not one of the 10 essentials...obviously|
"Oh...I'd say about an hour."
I think I asked if he was kidding three times. He finally said, "well, maybe it's not an hour, but I've been hiking quite a while"...with a "what the hell is your problem?" tone in his voice.
I did eventually make it to my car, of course. (in one hour and 15 minutes...the final 15 minutes seemingly lasting 4 hours) It was there in the lot, as promised; and my extra key was still in my pack where I had hid it. (Not that I was obsessively worrying or anything! ;)) But take a look at my ride:
|click on the pics if you can't read the messages|
Have you ever seen anything so sweet? I'd love to do 500 miles on the Appalachian Trail when I turn 50...but if I never do, it's okay. I have family and friends who really love me, and that's what truly matters. I hope I never forget it.
|You gotta stop at Zeke's...even if it makes you sorry later.|