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Lost Creek Wilderness (part 3)

Started: 2008-06-26 17:12:06

Submitted: 2008-06-26 17:35:21

Visibility: World-readable

After going to bed on Sunday, the wind picked up, creating all sorts of strange noises outside my tent. While trying to sleep, I visualized that the noises I heard could be wild animals getting into my food; even though I roughly followed protocol and suspended my food bag between trees, I wasn't sure how effective it'd be against a determined animal. I finally convinced myself that the noises were far too regular to be any animal; they had to be the wind rushing through the trees.

I woke just after sunrise and verified that my food had not been touched. I took a few pictures of the sunrise and went back to sleep.

Dawn at camp in Lake Park, Lost Creek Wilderness
Dawn at camp in Lake Park, Lost Creek Wilderness
Sun rises in Lake Park, Lost Creek Wilderness
Sun rises in Lake Park, Lost Creek Wilderness

I pumped water, ate breakfast, broke camp, strapped everything onto my backpack, and headed for home. I hiked across Lake Park to rejoin the Lake Park Trail and followed the trail down to Hankins Pass. I saw a group of four backpackers at the pass and turned east down the Hankins Gulch Trail, descending along Hankins Gulch. Much of the gulch had been burned recently (I believe by the Hayman Fire but I'm not positive); I watched the dead trees carefully to make sure none were likely to fall on me. My possibly-broken left little toe hurt less than I expected on the lengthy downhill; I descended from nearly 11,000 feet to just over 8,000 feet. I joined the Goose Creek Trail, where I entered the wilderness three days prior, and hiked up the last two hundred meters to the trailhead. I stopped to take a picture of the damage wrought by the Hayman Fire and immediately encountered a neat column of what seemed like 50 teenage girls and a handful of adult chaperones who were apparently part of a church group. They turned north along Goose Creek, and I had to confess that I was glad I didn't encounter them any deeper within the wilderness. Seeing that many people would not have contributed to any feeling of solitude.

Hikers in Hayman fire burn area, near Goose Creek Trailhead, Lost Creek Wilderness
Hikers in Hayman fire burn area, near Goose Creek Trailhead, Lost Creek Wilderness

Upon reaching the trailhead, my very first thought was, "I should do that again." (I referred to the general idea of a wilderness backpacking expedition, not necessarily the particular route I chose.) I unlocked Motoko, stuffed my pack inside, figured out what gear and food I would need for the drive home, and returned to civilization via the twisting mountain roads I first navigated three days prior.

I've now camped six nights this year, three times as many nights as I camped last year. The summer is just beginning and there are plenty of mountains left to climb.

There's no gossip jucier than what's on bitscape.org, so I don't really
have anything to say. In fact, I learned most of it there.
- Yanthor, Festing: The Gathering, 21 March 2003