Home Forums Outside Places 03 2018-09-01 Saturday – 8.9 miles hike to Poplar Ridge Shelter

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    Udar Gromov

    2018-09-01 Saturday – 8.9 miles hike to Poplar Ridge Shelter

    06:32 Open my eyes in a Piazza Rock Lean-to

    Water and filter trip.  Breakfast from the mixture or Grape Nuts and flax seeds. I forgot to pack dates with me this time.  Theory is that I am so slow on the trail because I do not eat breakfast?

    08:07 I would need to punch one more hole in my belt to tighten my belt.  Weather is excellent.  Sun is beginning to hide behind thick clouds.

    10:30 Two miles completed.  I am at Eddy Pond on 4WD road.  I am moving along at good speed of 34 min/mile.  Both iHikeGPS and AllTrails are recording my movement.  It was a relatively easy going so far. From now, trail would go up and up from 2600′ to 4100′.  It is cloudy, but sun sometime pokes through.  There are a lot of hikers in large groups, and there are a lot of students.  I can hear someone voices almost all the time.  Here (by the pond) AT crosses a well-established Snowmobile road – solid dirt road.  As I am writing in the woods, 2 ATV arrive, park and riders go towards the pond.  There is a 1x signal, by messages are not going through.  It is not cold and not hot.  I am wearing all blue today.

    11:14 one crooked tree with 3 tree trunks going up

    11:33 entering 3 miles of fragile alpine zone

    11:36 escape tree line.  I can see all behind me

    12:17 I arrive on Saddleback MTN – 4,120′

    12:41 I am hungry, and I decided to eat LARA bar – very good!  Body is craving sugar.  Last several miles were on a gentle slope above tree line.  Lots of views in all directions.  Fields and fields of alpine miniature vegetation. A bit chilly – light coat is on.  There are no mosquitos or black flies. Somehow everyone departed and only two women hikers remain, and they need someone to take a picture – me.

    13:00 any dry fruits go very well on the trail.  This is a toughly packed and concentrated energy.  There is no signal here, but, looks like my first message to Lira go through at 10:28 today. She was worried.

    13:07 Knees and ankles are not bothering me so far today.  Left knee is completely OK.  May be there is a slight discomfort in the right ankle.

    14:42 saw a woman hiker in black that looked like Aunt Olga. I immediately thought that someone encounters death like this – in black. She is also going to the shelter.

    14:51 departing 3 miles of fragile alpine zone

    15:17 I descended to Redington Stream Campsite – 3,189′.  Woman hiker in black catches up and disappears up the trail. This is a gloomy place. No campfires are allowed. Water is 400 yards into the woods.  Today I still have 2H of hiking and one more hill to conquer.

    15:47 reach the lowest point of the descend

    16:26 The Saddleback Junior – 3,640′.  This will be last hill today.

    17:15 reached the Poplar Ridge Shelter – very crowded but shelter itself has plenty of openings. Only 2 older hikers took the corners.  I started fire in a firepit (for the people) and received lots of compliment for doing it.  You never know, what make people tick.

    ~19:00 Vegan Mushroom risotto – good, but rice was a bit undercooked.

    Young captain was collecting garbage from everyone to carry it back to cars – nice gesture.

    21:37 looked at the time – I am already in my sleeping bag for a long time.

    Problem was that my too companions (two older hikers) stirred in their beds a lot, snored, stomped on the floor and make lots of other noses.  I should prefer solo sleeping arrangements from now on.

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