Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wonderland : Day 2

"But what I remember best is crawling out of the tent on summer nights when on high mountains autumn is always approaching.  To a boy, it is something new and beautiful to piss among the stars.  Not under the stars but among them. Even at night great winds seem always to blow on great mountains, and tops of trees bend, but, as the boy stands there with nothing to do but to watch, seemingly the sky itself bends and the stars blow down through the trees until the Milky Way becomes lost in some distant forest.  As the cosmos brushes by the boy and disappears among the trees, the sky is continually replenished with stars.  There would be stars enough to brush by him all night, but by now the boy is getting cold."
-Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

I woke up feeling just ok about my decision not run the second day.  After all, I had a lot of reasons not to head out...  I could hike with my family.  I could have coffee, and cook bacon and eggs.  I could make sure my family made it to Mowich Lake ok.  But I was ultimately worried about heading back out for a long day on tired legs by myself.  There were no road crossings on this second section and it was pretty remote.  This meant that once I started out, my family would leave for Mowich, and I would be committed.  Although I've run fifty miles at a time on multiple occasions, I had never tested my legs to that extent on consecutive days.  It also turned out to be socked in with fog at high elevations so I'm not sure how I would have found my way through snowy sections if I couldn't locate my position in very low visibility.  In the end, I still had a great day in the mountains with my family....and of course, I still regret not going out on the second day.  Such is life.  I want it all!

We started the day off with a quick hike down to a river that I passed on the way in that was pretty awesome.   Then I ran a couple of miles to Longmire visitors center just to add a bit more of the wonderland trail to my bag. 

After Longmire, we stopped by a sweet backwoods metal sculpture place and then hustled to get to Mowich Lake (the second campsite of the original plan) in time for a good hike after setting up the tent.  Mowich Lake has a small walk-in campground on the more remote west side of the national park. We chose to hike a little over 5 miles round trip up to Eunice Lake and back.

Tully and Olive's summer rock climbing camp came in handy.

Eunice Lake frosted over.

The Fire Lookout is visible on Tolmie Peak

The kids rocked the hike.  After we returned to the campsite we ate dinner and Olive and I walked around crystal clear Mowich Lake together at dusk before turning in for the night.

Mowich Lake.  So clear that the submerged timbers shine through the reflection. 

Not a bad substitute second day!  That said, I went to sleep excited and motivated to get out early the next morning and salvage the remainder of the Wonderland Trail.

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