Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 20: Eaten

Friday, June 15, 2018 – 7.40 miles

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Visitor in the morning

Today was Man Eaten Lake day!  I was excited to see Man Eaten Lake due to its beauty and cool name (the latter being most important, of course). eTrails has it listed as ‘Man-Eaten Lake’ and I had initially read that as ‘lake eaten by man’, but when I was searching online in Etna for the origin of the name, it was coming up without a hyphen and websites were reading it as ‘man was eaten lake’. Which is less philosophical but still raises some interesting questions. Animals? Cannibals? Just so long as it wasn’t a scenario like this:

Sue: (screaming) Billy! Billy!

Bob: What’s wrong, Sue?

Sue: Billy disappeared below the surface of the water and hasn’t come up!

Joan: Good God! It’s like THE LAKE ATE HIM.

(Billy swims back to shore)

Sue: Billy!

Billy: Ha ha ha, did I fool you? Now someone get me a towel, I’m becoming hypothermic.

Sue: Oh Billy, you silly.

(Whole company laughs heartily while Billy slowly collapses)

If it was like that, don’t even tell me. Movie rights: $5.

The day began with burn walking that fortunately ended upon the trail crossing a saddle. The scenery was gorgeous afterwards with lakes, meadows, flowers and gushing seasonal waterfalls. The amount of snow above seemed small in proportion to the snowmelt.

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Minor snow patches on the trail during the climb to Man Eaten Saddle. Mt. Shasta was visible in the distance.

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Distant Shasta

Man Eaten Lake came into view, dramatic and gobsmacking in its deep bowl with its deep blue water.

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In retrospect I wish that I had lingered longer on my way up to the saddle to enjoy the views, but I was eager to check out camping opportunities at the lake so I made my way down a dodgy death trap of a loose scree trail to the shore. The lakeshore was surprisingly windy and I saw bear scat, which was discouraging, but I pitched my tent and decided to hang my Ursack along the PCT so it would be far away and I wouldn’t have to climb up with its weight tomorrow morning. Back up and down the devilish trail.

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The walls of the basin seemed lower at the lake and were blotted with snow that had created a large waterfall on the opposite side. Insects were thick and included a few types that I hadn’t seen before.

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I wonder what you are.
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Covered with ladybugs

I saw a black salamander drifting about lazily in the water. If my hiking style were to be compared to a salamander, it would definitely be that salamander.

Miles for the day = 7.4. Camping at Man Eaten Lake had to be done.

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