I (Quiz) love frogs, but listening to a full chorus of them all night long was even a bit much for me. We got up at 5.30 and just as we were leaving camp at 6 they all promptly shut up! Having said that I will miss playing spot the frog/newt in the lake, that’s my kind of safari.
We scrambled and bushbashed our way up the steep slop on the other side of the lake to avoid steep snow climbs and rejoined the trail to walk into a burn area and a land of red rock, which felt a little bit like Australia (very fitting as we are on Kangaroo Mountain). The group of 6 ladies who we have been walking with were leaving their camp at the same time and we walked a little way together. After a bit more bushbashing to avoid snow we made it to the top of the ridge and stopped with 360 views of snow capped peaks for breakfast.
We kept breakfast short as it’s a town day and quickly got back to our 11 mile descent. The trail clung to the east side of the crest of the ridge, giving us excellent views but also steep drop offs. In some places the trail was crumbling and on a steep slant and we had to slow down and take care with our steps. Pinecone likes to joke that falling down the mountain is the quickest way to milkshakes.
As we got lower and the sun for higher the heat intensified. We were fine in the lush thick forest of the lower more gradual slopes of the ridge, but as soon as we hit the Tarmac of the road we longed for the green moss covered fairy forest of the last spring. BTW compared with everywhere we have hiked so far, the amount of Springs here is huge, our maps are covered with tiny blue dots and we carry only a litre of water knowing that more will be plentiful in a few miles.
We met a (push) bike rider called Will who is cycling from San Francisco to Florida, he regaled us with road tales as we walked 1 mile along the hot hot road into town. Town consisted of a diner and general store which thankfully had some hiker food as we resupplied for the next 5 days. More importantly we all ate huge hamburgers or sandwiches at the diner and got one of ‘the best milkshakes on trail’ for dessert. They were pretty good.
While we were busy eating the temperature got up to 106.F which is about 45.C, which is too hot to function. Buck whose gf works in the general store kindly drove us the 6 mile hot as hell road walk to Grider Creek Campground, thanks a bunch Buck! Grider Creek is super lovely and we have spent all afternoon by a small waterfall washing our clothes and swimming to cool off. We have packed our hot dogs and buns and beers and can have a lil feast tonight. Onwards and upwards (towards more snow) xx