Mile 1992 to 2016
The trail is an excellent teacher but we are not particularly good students. We camp on the shore of a beautiful cove and are again surprised when we wake with soaking tents and sleeping bags. Where is this moisture coming from?
We pack up and leave before the camp breakfast, which I am sure is as awesome as these people have been to us. We target Rockpile Lake, which is 19 miles ahead, as our water and dinner spot. We hope to push on another 4 miles beyond that to a dry camp on a ridge, but to get there we have to endure 16 miles of completely burned out forest.
Along the way we catch up to Ixnay who left the cove before we did. We join forces to push each other along past Three Fingered Jack, Minto Pass and on to Rockpile Mountain and Lake. On the way Ixnay tells us colorful stories of his life, which fascinate us. Besides, we don’t have cable TV.
Ixnay grabs some water and pushes on. We stay to relax, filter water and cook an early dinner. Dinner now means we do not have to carry water to the dry camp for cooking and cleaning. While eating our dinner we are joined by a couple of graceful deer, who come to the lake to drink. Later they are joined by their two very naughty fawns. We know they are naughty because we watch them walk into the lake, drink water, then defecate directly into the water we have been filtering and cooking with. Our cries of “Oh come on!” have no impact on them. We are pretty sure they were laughing as they left the lake.
We gather up our things, including our suddenly not quite as refreshing lake water and push on. We reach the dry camp on the ridge which has an excellent view of Mount Jefferson, but no view of Ixnay. He must not have been impressed with the fairly wind exposed site, but it seems good enough for us. We pitch our tents and retire, pleased there are no mosquitoes and strangely no ants. We fall asleep hoping they do not know something we don’t.