On day three I hiked six miles to Marmot Lake. Sounds kinda boring, huh? It was, and it wasn't. Part of the beauty of hiking is going into "zone" mode. You hike up, you hike down, you go through a forest, you hop over a small stream, you go up, you go down, you go through a forest, you hop over a small stream...rinse and repeat. You start to slip into a sort of auto pilot; which I'm actually kind of into. But hiking lesson #40 is a big one: Try to pay attention. Pretty deep, right?
I was plodding along like a giant oaf, (I purposely made a lot of noise the entire time...scaring away the bears, y'know. And it worked--I never saw a single one) when all of a sudden I was on the ground...hard. My foot had just barely gone off trail, and unknown to me there was a very steep drop off that made my foot slip straight down. I credit the fact I didn't pitch it over the edge to my trekking poles, which where planted and gave me the balance to fall the right direction.
|I was hoping to find some Keebler cookies|
|What a beautiful stream, right? Take off your boots,|
the trail is at the top
One part of this hike that I was definitely not in auto pilot for was 'the ford'. I was so nervous about it; imagining myself being swept downstream in an instant. It turned out to be a non-event. Getting to the other side and not being able to find the trail was an actual event. I almost called it a day and turned around. More about that later.
|The 'real' ford...wish it looked scarier|
|A great spot, but the best one is on that hill|
|John and his son and their view to die for|
|Heading up with sweeping views all around|
|One of several little tarns on the ridge trail|
|The far end of Hart Lake. It's much larger than this|
|Lake La Crosse. This is as close as I got.|
(I didn't have that much energy ;))
|Took this from my tent just before going to sleep|
|Wildflowers everywhere on the way back up the First Divide|
|Thanks for making it look so easy, beoch ;)|
|So cute, right? I love how she's clutching the food like it's gold.|
"I thought you were long gone! Where'd you camp last night?"
Matt (finally got his name right, I think I asked him every time. Sheesh, I'm bad with names) informed me he had made it up to Marmot after all. He told me a story about losing the trail after the ford, and thought he would have to turn back. (just like me! A blow down made it really hard to tell where the trail is) Just then a doe came down, revealing the path. (Snape's patronus? Sorry, I'm a Harry Potter nerd) He took it as a sign, and pushed on. Don't you love it?
|Doesn't look much like a trail, does it|
|I loved my Nine Stream spot!|
|The scariest part of the whole trip|
|The progression of bridges starts you off easy. Ha ha!!...|
I think I got this
|A little more nerve racking.|
I'm pretty sure you have yourself a busted ankle
falling off this one
|Hard to tell how high this is, but it's up there...I'm thinking certain death if you fall.|
Except there's a handrail, so it doesn't really count.
(I stole this pic off Eric Jain's trip report on WTA; hope that's okay)