Thursday, August 30, 2018 – 11.70 miles
Today was a genuinely clear day, the best since Oregon. It made me realize how far my standards have fallen that I was so impressed by the previous two days. Today’s clarity was caused by a strong west wind that blew cold and fresh from morning to night. Despite plenty of grey clouds, there was no rain.
In the morning I crossed the Lemah River. The old bridge is gone with no apparent plans for replacement, judging by a fancy wooden trail sign posted nearby with instructions for a stock detour. The crossing was an easy rock hop today, but a SOBO hiker who I met a week or two ago said that he was swept off his feet during the ford.
After Lemah River was a long, steep climb up Escondido Ridge. The views from the top were stellar.
The Three Queens looked wonderfully ominous shrouded in cloud, especially from a certain angle that made it look like they were leaning slightly forward. I decided to rename them the ‘Three Arbiters’, and I named a mountain in the other direction ‘Mount Olympus’, since the sky above was always blue and sunny despite the gloomy clouds everywhere else.
Lots of shy marmots and pikas.
Soon after reaching the high point, the climb downwards began, offering views of Waptus Valley and Waptus Lake.
I made camp early at an established site with beautiful views. When I was finishing supper, two men arrived and discussed camping there, but the spot with my tent was the only somewhat flat spot available. Hiker #1 continued onwards while Hiker #2 stayed to eat supper. He was friendly and we had a nice conversation. He introduced me to the term ‘LASHer’, meaning ‘long ass section hiker’.