The Slide, a short day, loons, the problems of the world solved.

It was beautiful sunrise across Shigaug Lake with high pink clouds under-brushed with pink fog swirling across the lake. And it has been a wonderful sleep, finally down to temperatures at which my top quilt was designed for.

Lots of uphills, somewhat gently up through the thick hemlock forests on the north sides of the quartzite ridges, then cutting through to the south drier and more open rocky scattered oak balds, only to be broken by another downhill and repetition. Lots more — but never enough! — great outlooks to the south looking across the Kirk Creek lowlands to the Killarney Ridge which ends in the magnificent Silver Peak.

The Slide down into Little Great Mountain Lake has to be seen to be appreciated. The photo isn’t truly impressive until you realize that we’re only partway down the coarse bare quartzite. We started at the top in the trees, working our way back and forth on the right side of the photo to the crack that cuts across slightly sloping down to the left, midway down. My size 14 shoes overhung the outside downhill edge of the crack most of the way across the photo. Then we worked our way back and forth down the left side but out of the photo. I truly appreciated the judgements of Josh, and the experience of Soheil. There were several short clambers without poles and handhold-by-handhold placements, zig-zagging back and forth across the smooth bald open steep decent. I’d have been near-paralyzed with fear on my own …

We had initially intended on making it all the way to Silver Peak, but decided to take an easier day and ended early and slowing at our campsite booked on Boundary Lake. Our reward was the call of a loon as we descend to the lovely secluded campsite by the western shore. It turned out to be a duet between mated pair of adults, perfectly coordinated mutual dives, popping up quite close to us as they poked around our little bay.

So we had a lazy session of setting up camp, helping other with salves to ease aching muscles, — and enjoying releases on the blanket box … Lots of chatter about stoves, tents, food, various recent hiking tragedies, and general sharings.

Tomorrow we’ll pack one pack with water, food, clothing, and emergency supplies and head off to the lovely Silver Peak we see across the lake.

Notes from an ageing biologist:

I had hoped to eat my carb-rich supper earlier than usual today. My suppers are based around some sort of noodle, enriched by a generous addition of dried coconut milk (for fats and calories), and extended by another generous serving of Bob’s Mills TVP (for protein). I pee nightly but this type of meal seems to exacerbate that. Every hour and a half seems a bit much, dear reader. But tonight doesn’t seem to be starting out as hoped for. It’s just past 10 P.M., and I’ve already fertilized the hemlock I’m hanging from …

I do very much appreciate my DIY addition of full zipper along both sides of the hammock, meaning that I can easily get out and back in as needed, rather than struggling through the elegant but tricky bottom-entry that comes with my otherwise excellent hammock.

It being warmer than last night, I’ve taken off the wonderful red fleece that Gillian made for my Bruce Trail hike three years ago. My fleece toque is on, and I’m about to turn everything off to go to sleep.

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