Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Day 42: Fools Creek to Beaver Lake
We watched the tiny crescent moon set behind the mountains, and fell asleep under a clear sky bursting with stars. But we woke to sea of clouds covering the sky like a gray woolen blanket. A red-headed woodpecker chiseled away at a ghostly gray stump, tiny wood chips flying in every direction.
We soon reached Bowl Creek, what should have been our first ford of the day. But Sierra innovated by dragging a narrow log to the creek and placing the tip between two rocks that were several feet of deep, running water away. By balancing on the narrow log and the following a series of well-spaced rocks, we were able to keep our feet dry for the crossing.
Bowl Creek was also the site of the last message in Wired's birthday scavenger hunt for Sierra. Sierra opened one of two small Rubbermaid tubs Wired had left and was excited to discover a bright pink birthday monkey, complete with birthday party hat. Sierra gave the monkey a squeeze and it burst into song: "Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey, and you smell like one too!" Sierra named her new friend Bob Marshall, after the wilderness area where Wired left her birthday scavenger hunt.
We left Bowl Creek in a light drizzle. The clouds finally broke up just before lunch, instantly raising the temperature by at least 15 degrees. Sierra enjoyed a birthday candle adorned Hostess Ho Ho cupcake after a relaxed lunch at Strawberry Creek.
The trail followed Strawberry Creek upstream, a pleasant, gentle, forested hike. We met 10K, a southbounder, the only hiker we saw all day.
From Badger Pass, the trail became rough and bumpy, a dried swamp with deep footprints from the many horses, people, elk, bear, deer, and other animals that had traveled the trail when it was thick with mud. The trail smoothed out slightly just before we reached Beaver Lake, where we set up camp for the night.
Posted by Heather and Sierra at 9:30 PM