Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 13, 2013

Meadow near Little American Creek to Page Lake
27 miles

As you may have figured out by this point, I am generally not a fan of road walks, however, this morning was an exception. The first part of the morning took me through the Mount Haggin Wildlife Refuge, and what a refuge it was. I saw and heard an egret, as well as a herd of elk. After those pleasant encounters I also came across cows and cars on the latter part of the road (not as pleasant). 

Just before hitting trail again I took a break at Lower Seymour CG and sat at an actual picnic table instead of the ground (what a luxury!). While there I saw a man drive his large Dodge Ram truck approximately 5 campsites distance from his campsite to the water pump to fill 3 gallons of water, then drive back to his campsite. I couldn't believe my eyes. What is the world coming to. I wanted to say something, but decided better of it and continued to lounge.

Fortunately all the road walking and brief encounter with "civilization" was worth it because after 16 miles of morning road walking I made it to trail again, and soon after entered the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. It felt great to have my feet on actual trail again and the miles to Upper Seymour Lake were a welcome change from the road. 

Once at the lake I immediately kicked off my shoes and socks and got into the water as quick as possible. It was like Christmas morning and I couldn't wait to unwrap the gift of an alpine lake swim. Upper Seymour is a gorgeous alpine lake, deep blue in color when the sun shines on it, and very very cold! I swam out far enough to satisfy my definition of swimming (not far, it was cold!) and then headed back to shore to dry out and warm up. Very refreshing. 

I hung out at the lake for a couple hours enjoying the sun and view and cooking up a hot meal, but eventually had to keep moving on. Alas, such is life as a thru-hiker. Before you feel bad because I had to leave the pristine lake, don't. The next part may have been even better. It was about a thousand foot climb from the lake up to a ridge, which also happened to be the continental divide, and the views all around from the top were incredible. I could practically see back down the valley where I started the day, and in the opposite direction could see more mountains, range after range into the distance. I spent a good amount of time up there just enjoying the view, and after many previous miles of primarily forest and road walking I was reminded of exactly why I am out here. I love my life!

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