WA PCT Section J – Part II, Day 4 – Through the burn to Spectacle Lake

Monday, August 13, 2018
Part II, Day 4. Miles hiked: 13.5. Elevation gain/loss: +3115/-3725.
South of the Waptus Pass Burn Trail to Spectacle Lake

(Instagram pics days 2-5 are here)

I wake at 6 and lay there hoping some of the condensation outside and inside will evaporate. I read a little and eventually get up at 7. The other hiker is gone. So. many. mosquitos. I don my mosquito outfit and make breakfast of hot granola+coffee. Drying my rainfly in the morning sun works marginally. Pack up. On trail at 8:20.

One by one (and sometimes 2 by 2) I pass NOBO PCT hiker guys. The area up here is beautiful and stunning! The smoke obscures it somewhat, but there are spectacular views of the Three Queens and Four Brothers. Burn area. Down, down, down to Lemah Meadows. Water refill. More non-PCT hikers are on the trail now. Through the Lemah Meadows, cross the Lemah Creek on a downed log.

Then up, up, up through the exposed burn area in the hot midday heat. Nuun is good. Tiny shade and lunch break. Onward, overlapping a few other hikers bound for Spectacle Lake, too. At the junction I go down the 0.5 miles to the lake and make a beeline for the peninsula where the best camping is supposed to be. I find a spot to myself by 3:30 and settle in. Yardsale my stuff to dry, set up camp, filter water, take a dip. Dry. Read. Lounge. Write. Look at maps.

While eating my dinner and listening to a podcast, 3 women in their 60’s walk through my site. “Mind if my friends stay in your site?”, one of them says as she hikes on past. Damn I was hoping for some solitude. “Uh sure”, I say and crank my podcast to high volume, hoping they’ll move along. They end up deciding to set up in another spot, but we get to talking and they are Nitro and Foxy, 66 and 61 respectively, and they’re going to catch a ride when Jared comes to pick me up tomorrow. I’ll hike the 3 miles to tag the pond where Mark and I hiked to last week, hike back, then hike out and meet the ladies a the river crossing. Later in the evening they move their tent to my site – theirs is too rocky to stake out their tent. By now I’ve warmed up and am happy to share. Read. Sleep at 9.

 

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