2018-09-24 at 17:00 #6400Udar GromovKeymaster
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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