September 12, 2016
Lake aloha (mile 1097.3) to Dicks Lake (mile 1107.6)
Our total miles: 2464.9
The wind howled all night. We were glad we had chosen to camp in a protected spot in the trees rather than out in the open.
Around 6:45am Kelly and Laurie walked down to the water to take pictures of the morning glow reflecting off of the lake.
The lake was choppy from the wind but the granite surrounding the lake displayed a nice rosy golden color.
With only 11 miles on the agenda it was too cold and early to start walking so we all snuggled into one tent and enjoyed a leisurely morning sipping hot beverages.
Eventually we packed up and walked along Lake Aloha until the trail forked. We continued on the PCT past Heather Lake and eventually around Susie Lake.
The trail was rocky and the wind persisted. At times Laurie felt as if the wind knocked her off balance. It was hard walking and we were all thankful we had trekking poles.
We stopped for an early lunch at Susie Lake. The wind made it too cold for a swim but we enjoyed lounging in the sun.
From here we gently climbed up toward Gilmore Lake. We took a side trail and played at its shores – skipping rocks and seeing who could throw the furthest.
Kelly worked up the nerve to go swimming and we cheered her on as she dove into the clear and cold water.
We slowly gained another 1000 feet of elevation as we made our way up to Dicks Pass. This pass is the last time the PCT travels over 9,000 feet. It is hard to believe that the mountains we walked through and up and down in Washington are all lower than 9,000 feet!
Near the the top of the pass we ran into a group of 4 SOBOs. They asked us about resupply options in the Sierra and transportation options.
It is interesting that no matter which direction you hike, there are still things to worry about.
From the Pass we dropped down to Dicks Lake. It was a beautiful lake.
We claimed our spots in the trees (by leaving our backpacks there) and headed to the water before we lost sunlight.
Kelly and Laurie swam and then warmed themselves on warm granite boulders. It was a wonderful way to finish a good day on the trail.
We ate miso soup and dinner sitting on a large rock watching pink clouds cross the sky.
The wind picked up after the sun set. We started to set up our tents in one spot but quickly changed our minds and moved them to more protected spots. Kelly’s tent flew 20 feet as we all stepped away to move our tent.
We each put up the rain fly to add a little warmth.
Tonight we are grateful for friends joining us on the trail and the opportunity to slow down and enjoy each mile.