Saturday, September 01, 2018 – 10.10 miles
Today’s hiking began with a crossing of Daniel Creek, which is flagged in the water report as a potentially dangerous ford. A sign instructs stock to bypass the ford by detouring around the lake. I wasn’t expecting the crossing to be difficult in September, and indeed it was an easy rock hop across three channels, but the water was running down a steep slope and I could imagine the ford being tricky in the early season.
I was cheerful in the morning, then tired in the afternoon. I stopped to cook potatoes at a stream and semi-conversed with some weekend hikers, but forming decipherable answers was hard. They left after their dog disturbed a hornet’s nest and got stung. The trail passed a series of other surprises like ‘Surprise Gap’ and ‘Surprise Mountain’ and passed into the Surprise Creek watershed. There are also numerous ‘Deception ____’s around here, so someone was obviously having a fun/scary time during this area’s exploration.
I was aiming for a campsite that eTrails lists as ‘Talus Camp’ and describes as being beside an unappealing greenish tarn, thinking that if the tarn was actually greenish and unappealing the site might not attract heavy use. Nope. A waterfall of toilet paper was cascading across the ground nearby. I kept descending towards Glacier Lake.
A wide flat area at the bottom of the switchbacks had multiple potential campsites, but I wanted a sheltered site to be able to sleep well, and ended up stealth camping in the forest nearby. Glacier Lake was only a short distance away, so I walked there to use the toilet, which is a totally unconcealed pit toilet with a wooden seat – you just walk down the marked path and presently spot it to the right.