Friday, June 19, 2009

Near Kennedy Canyon Creek

Today was a much better day!

The meadow we slept in was really wet. OUr stuff was completely soaked in the morning. At least I had slept warm and dry. I had had to sleep nearly naked because my pants and underwear were still wet when we made camp. But I zipped my down jacket over my waist like a skirt and was the warmest I had been in a long time.

We packed up our wet things because it was obvious they would never dry in this corn lilly choked meadow and headed out.

We encountered snow on the descent, but not too much. Soon we followed trail again. Eventually we reached Wilmer Lake, a very pretty lake with a huge trout in it. Must have been over a foot in length. Lenny considered trying to catch it, but instead we continued on.

We crossed the outflow of the lake on two steel I-beams. Then the trail headed right into a river. Falls Creek, I believe. This time the river was so wide it required a ferry boat. There was no way across. I became very angry. This is the Pacific Crest trail, for crying out load. A National Scenic Trail. In a National Park, one of the most popular National Parks in the whole world (Yosemite). They can't put a bridge over this river? The PCTA is always soliciting money from me to save the trail from logging. I say cut all the trees down and make a few bridges!

There was no way for us to cross so we started upstream. We walked for miles past raging whitewater. We would look every now and then for a place to cross. It was all way way beyond my ability. I am only five-foot three and maybe 125 pounds. I cannot handle such swift and deep water. I was not going to swim again, either.

Onward we went for miles. Eventually we reached a trail to Tilden Lake. We followed that trail up for a while toward the lake. We reached the outflow of Tilden Lake and sought a safe place to cross. The crossing was wet and swift but I managed.

Now we headed back down to Falls Creek. When we reached it, it had shrunk considerably. We looked at the water, wondering if we could wade. It was still too deep to walk across. Then I spied a log. We were able to cross and keep our feet dry.

On the other side we stopped to dry out all our things. I did a little dance and sang, "I didn't die! I didn't die!" I felt so relieved after eyeing that river anxiously for so many hours.

After our lunch and yard sale (drying our gear), the trail became exhausting. It was not going uphill steeply, but it wore me out anyway. There was a lot of snow and the trail was soggy. We spent a lot of effort trying to find ways to approach the trail. It was mentally and physically tiring.

We stopped to eat lunch again after a few hours. Now we had the energy to reach Dorothy Lakes Pass. The lake itself was still full of icebergs. The pass was not a steep one, but it was covered in snow. Going over the other side was pretty easy, and once again Lenny's skill at cross-country travel was a big help.

We found the trail again and followed it off and on. Then we had to cross another voluminous creek. We approached the creek and wondered if we really needed to cross. I remembered I had read something in my wet guide book about crossing the creek once and then crossing again on a footbridge. So we crossed wetly.

We found the footbridge a little downstream were another river and combined with this one. We were glad we had forded above. The footbridge had actually been dismantled (which irked me greatly) and was lying in a pile a short distance away. Someone had stuck a log across so with a burst of momentum, I forced myself across.

Now the trail became easy and we motored on for several more hours, making great progress on the trail. We camped in a meadow on the ascent near Kennedy Creek, ready, we hoped, to reach Bridgeport for breakfast the next day.

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