Tuesday, August 21, 2018 – 14 miles
Smoky morning. I walked to the Bumping River, where I had been planning on getting water, but it was filled with green slime.
The water report had no data for the next two sources, the outlet stream for Crag Lake and a seasonal stream that feeds the lake, but I decided that I would investigate them and bushwhack to the lake if neither were running. First I arrived at the outlet stream, finding that it was flowing well. I drew water there but didn’t filter any, unenthusiastic about lake water. When I found the seasonal stream running too, I dumped out the outlet stream water and sat down for filtering and lunch.
A pair heading SOBO assured me that the smoke got better up ahead, and I found that it did improve in one direction, though throughout the afternoon it worsened around Rainier and impeded views that would otherwise have been stunning. A small fire was pumping smoke into the air at the base of the mountain.
In the evening I explored a few elk trails in search of a campsite, stumbling upon a flat, sheltered spot with pine needles that needed little clearing. The only downside is that it’s next to elk trails, so I anticipate visitors in the night. Be strong, my heart. (Something passed just now and I don’t know what it was, it sounded non-elkish.)