Friday, September 14, 2012

14 September - Day 144 - Hiking through "The Hills Are Alive"

From campsite at Kodak Peak ridge (2508.1) to Mica Lake (2531.3)

Total PCT Miles: 23.2

What a day of rugged, difficult alpine-like mountain terrain -- with spectacular autumn mountain scenery. The cataracts we cross hopping from boulder to log, the glaciers looming over us, the tricky snowfields to cross, the fallen trees we have to climb over/under/around. The yellow-bellied marmots whistling whenever a raven passed. These improbable jigsaw ridges we traverse. How can landscape this steep not just slide down into the valley?

We did our yodel-duet for Knutella & Nightingale in a lovely "Norwegian" alpine valley.

We had pain meds to manage the foot pain (Dionysus has a stress fracture & a broken toe, we suspect; my feet and knees are a pain-o-rama; Seano's holding up but is in fair pain after midday). Wow, did we make good time.

The mossy, mushroom-filled fairy forest around the base of Glacier Peak was astonishingly beautiful. The rivers coming off the volcano, violent, implacable. One of the log bridges we crossed was broken. Here are some photos Seano took of it (Mr. Cameraman).

The water is silty with glacial runoff. Dionysus and Pan approach the bridge while Seano photographs from above.

Better view of the bridge.

Seano's view as he starts to cross.

Camped by "Arctic Sea" looking Mica Lake -- at 5446 ft elevation, but so alpine.

We camp not far from the troika (Jugs, Fierce Melon, & Tailgate), as well as some weekend hikers. Tundra-like heath tucked into steep mountain slopes & snow fields. All around, impossibly vast mountains covered in glaciers, sheer pencil-point peaks, and a monster glaciated volcano. The distances are composed of rank upon rank of mountain ridge silhouettes in the evening's smoke haze.

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