Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 134: Blue Lake Ridge to Creek by Road 23

Curled up in a tight, frigid ball, I shivered inside my sleeping bag. Mornings are getting colder. We left camp wearing both warm pants and jackets, a first for me on the trail.

A steam like mist rose from each of the lakes we passed this morning. Colorful tents crowded around each one. Climbing to the ridge we viewed Mount Adams to the northeast and, farther away, Mount Rainier to the northwest. Both mountains were large and snow capped, dominating their respective landscapes.

Approaching Road 24 the terrain opened into a flat plateau covered with huckleberry bushes, their green leaves beginning to turn red in the autumn cold. Pickers with buckets and coffee cans strapped around their necks scattered through the bushes to pick the ripe, sweet berries. Young children with their parents, retired couples, and people of all ages and walks of life were out gathering the tasty fruit.

After a quick lunch we continued down the trail. The trail meandered through the forest with its moss covered trees and abundant fungi. Fungi is everywhere, growing out of dead stumps and logs, attaching itself to living trees, and pushing up through the hard forest floor.

We reached the final road crossing at Road 23 just before 7, continuing only a short distance beyond the road before making camp. Someone had left a stack of wood next to a rock fire ring and we decided to build a fire.  Although we've shared several campfires, this was the first fire we've built ourselves on this trip. The fire died down shortly after dinner and, after checking to make sure it was completely out, we headed off to bed.

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