Mile 1608 to 1626
It is funny how little things can influence decisions. I forgot to pack gallon ziplock bags for our trash. We juggled things around to free up some quart bags, but they are now bursting at the seams. Today’s meals will be anything that frees up bags that will hold trash. Breakfast is granola cereal, which is in its own zipable bag. Kevin eats more than he wants, but we need the bag. Tonight we will have bean burritos, which will free up the tortilla zipable bag.
Today we target Paradise Lake. It is a couple of miles shy of 20, but positions us well for the following day. The last campsite before Seaid Valley is about 20 miles past Paradise Lake and 6.5 miles shy of Seaid. With less cloud cover today and a fair amount of up, an 18.5 mile day seems perfect. Most hikers do not blast multiple 20s right out of the chute, but Kevin is a trooper.
We meet a southbound section hiker wearing red Brooks Cascadia 9’s trail runners, which look like our Brooks Cascadia 8’s. The number is the model, not the size. Without prompting he says he heard the 10’s are absolute junk, falling apart right away. Kevin had unfortunately purchased a pair of 10’s which I warned him about afterwards. He then ordered some no longer being made 8’s online, but they are getting impossible to find. BLT had a pair of 10’s which he tried to keep together with shoe glue, but it was a complete disaster. A great shoe company’s reputation is being destroyed and frankly they totally deserve it.
On our approach to Marble Mountain we are passed by a thru-hiker who says “I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it might be round like marbles, but I guess it’s named after the type of rock.” Kevin and I laugh. I am sure it is named Marble Mountain because it is shaped exactly like a bathroom countertop, but I don’t say anything for fear of embarrassing him.
At the lake, which is more like a pond, we filter water, cook our bean burritos, and fight off the pesky chipmunks and golden mantels. They are getting into serious mischief, including climbing on and trying to get in our Ursack food bags. An osprey is putting on an aerial show, swooping the pond and snagging small fish. We wish he would swoop our Ursacks and snag some small rodents instead.
We retire early, but expect to be woken repeatedly by the stream of arriving thru-hikers. It was much nicer being way ahead of the herd, but I am afraid those days are over.