Breakfast this morning was English Muffins and sausages as we packed up and prepared for a sort of intermezzo hike, a shorter hike between two locations which was just as much to a location as it was to continue with the journey. In this case we would be hiking up the Granite massif we saw yesterday (Whaleback Ridge) and up and around to Colby Lake, positioning us for a longer ascent and distance the following day.
After the initial skirting of Big Wet Meadow, we started ascending up Whaleback Ridge into what I consider High Sierra country. We marched along the stream that fed Big Wet Meadow .
Below is Shorty's Cabin, an old trapper's cabin which is a landmark for the hike. Apparently there are more than one around the Wildernesses from the days of trapping; this one is the best preserved.
We continued our ascent. If you look in the picture below, the postage stamp sized green space is Big Wet Meadow.
For lunch that day, we stopped on a granite face with the stream flowing over it (lunch being peanut butter and jelly tortillas, which worked surprisingly well). We spent an extra long time there, watching the water run. Some soaked their feet; our guides slide down the rock into the pool (with the accompanying torn shorts in D's case).
After lunch, it was another round of ascending with stream crossings. I had my first big stream crossing fail here: the rock slipped out from under me and I sat down in the stream. Fortunately The Outdoorsman was behind me and braced me so my pack did not go in and D the Guide was in front and grabbed me. The only concern was my glasses, which slipped off my head and feel into the stream - right at D's feet! We very carefully extracted the glasses and except for a slightly bent hiking pole (bent back into shape by The Outdoorsman,), I was none the worse for wear.
One more round of ascent, then Colby Lake came into view.
Camping sites were a bit harder to come by here as there was much more granite exposed; we had to separate into almost three different camps. It was higher off the water's edge as well, so access was not nearly as convenient.
Fortunately for me, there was a small stream nearby that made laundry day possible:
Dinner that night was fajitas, complete with tortillas, tomatoes, rice, refried beans, and fajita mix itself. Fajitas was not something that I would have thought would work on the table but we separated everything into individual stations (I was the rice guy) and it worked surprisingly well. One of our team also had a birthday which was ultimately celebrated with a small stack of chewy granola bars and some dysfunctional cotton swabs infused with petroleum jelly as a candle (which, sadly, did not work) - but was well received none the less.