Day 4: Alpine Solitude

Sunday September 22, 21.9mi/35.2km

Tamarack Lake (65.4/7874ft) to Luther Pass Campground (87.3/7290ft) (CA)

I was awake before sunrise, which has been occurring quite late recently. I left camp at 7am, and the other campers were just starting to emerge from their tents. I had a great view of echo lake for an hour.

I arrived to the end of the lake, and stopped for a quick break. I was expecting to see people along this popular stretch of trail, but I think it’s too early in the morning.

I had a snack and charged my phone at the tiny general store. It’s closed for the season, but the electricity still works! A mile later, I was surprised to find a huge stream crossing without a bridge. Almost every stream on this trail has had a bridge, even the tiny trickles. This stream was raging.

I took a quarter mile detour down to a FS road, and continued on my way. At the road, someone had left a note for northbound hikers. I’m glad I didn’t camp at Aloha Lake!

In the forest, there were all these piles of logs waiting to be burned. It reminded me of an exhibit at the Salem Witch museum, and it felt creepy. Moving on…

The started to climb, and broke out into a rocky section, and there were marmots everywhere!

As I got higher, I could see the lake again too.

I climbed up to 9000ft, where there was still small scraps of snow left from Wednesday’s flurries.

But, it was warm and sunny too, so I think the snow will be gone very soon.

I stopped for lunch in a sunny meadow, and it was perfectly quiet.

Then, the trail went around a corner, and it was an alpine paradise.

The snow cornices are still there from last season! It must’ve been a helluva winter. After an hour of hiking bliss, I had a break at Showers Lake.

Last time I was here, I had nearly been drained dry by the thousands of mosquitoes. But not a single mosquito today! The trail continued thru Meiss Meadow, and there was a cabin in the distance.

I explored around the cabin again, and it looked the same as when I was here in 2015.

At this spot, the TRT splits from the PCT, which continues south to Mexico for another 1079 miles. Now hiking east on the TRT, I started to see different kinds of rocks. Conglomerates!

I’m kind of a rock nerd.

I also came across two other humans, they were on bikes. Such a quiet day compared to yesterday! The last hour was a nice easy stroll thru some meadows.

I chose to camp at a front country campground, since it had bear boxes, pit toilets, and tables. Bear boxes are so much easier than hanging food in a tree!

Which to eat for dinner? My rice/tuna pairings are sometimes strange.

At this spot, I’m now about halfway done, these short trails go so fast!

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