"Wilderness is not only a haven for native plants and animals but it is also a refuge from society. Its a place to go to hear the wind and little else, see the stars and the galaxies, smell the pine trees, feel the cold water, touch the sky and the ground at the same time."
After a rather sleepless night (the full moon shone on my tent like a floodlight!) I pack up my gear & hit the trail. I do not see another soul until I reach Gem Lake.
Leaving Alger Lakes.
I was really amazed at how many wildflowers there were along the trail, especially considering the low snow pack this season. I have no idea what this flower is, but I loved the Dr Suessy look of it.
I paused often to check them out, though regretfully did not take many photos of them. I love how tiny & precious this group was.
The high point of the days hike took me through a stand of downed trees...
and then gently back down into tree line as I approached Gem Lake. In the distance, I get my first glimpse of Banner Peak- in the Ritter Range...
and a lovely view of Gem Lake, where I would later stop for lunch as well as fill up on water.
It's also where I would change out of my hiking shoes, & into my Chacos. (I had developed a couple of nice blisters from the inserts I had put in the shoes... I was tempted to show them to you... but figured I'd save you from the gross-out factor) I have nothing but good things to say about Chacos- my feet always feel so much better in them than boots & they have come with me on just about every backpacking trip I have ever done. They are surprisingly stable with an awesome Vibram hiking sole. As it turns out, I would finish the hike in these, as my hiking shoes which were secured to my pack turned out to be not so secure... at some point during one of my many breaks they seem to have jumped off my pack. Dang it!
Trail signs- I love them almost as much as I love maps!
Hiking along Waugh Lake for a few miles,
I meet & cross Rush Creek.
10 or so miles later, I reach my next camp. My campsite for night 2 was just perfect, really~ nestled in the trees just off the main trail... and not far beyond that, a perfect little creek for purifying water. Once again, I am tired from the days hike, but thankful my legs are still capable of carrying me over mountains & through valleys... I am always struck with a profound gratitude when I am out in the backcountry.