Holden 2003



August 23, 2003. Hot. Dry. Seattle’s been almost sixty days without rain. Big fires in BC and the Pasayten. Labor Day’s a week away. School’s about to start. Will and I take off for another extended backpack. This year Odette wants to come with us…

Will’s big enough that he can take a third of the food. I’ll carry pretty much all of the group gear. Odette won’t have to carry anything but a sleeping bag and her clothes. We’ll go with Art & Arthur again – and Jo will come too. We’ll end up at Holden so that Odette can meet the Lutherans…

First thing is negotiating the dates. Jo wants a separate Labor Day trip. We talk about two weeks before Labor Day, but Odette signs Will up for a Java course at the U with a final that week. Odette won’t call Jo to talk about it and Jo gets her vacation request approved for the week before we’re available. Somehow it all works out. Art makes reservations at Holden. Jo and I talk while Odette is in Denver. The boat leaves at 9:45. We’ll meet at the landing.

We talk about doing a bunch of weekend trips to get in shape for the backpack. We head for Ingalls Lake in June and camp in the snow. Can’t get Odette out for another overnight trip all summer. We hike up Granite Mountain and she gets hypoglycemic just thinking about the lookout. We hike up Pilchuck and she decides the boulders below the top are a deathtrap. I start checking the route descriptions…

The week-end before the trip we sit down to go over gear and food. Will has it all figured out. We’ll get most of our calories from trail mix & cliff bars at lunch and have a freeze dry pouch every night. We’re planning for seven days so on four of the nights we’ll have a 40 oz and a 20 oz freeze dry – giving us one pouch apiece. The other three nights we’ll split two pouches three ways and have a “cup ‘o soup” before. We’ll have oatmeal and a cliff bar for breakfast and a candy bar with our trail mix at lunch and with our freeze dry at dinner. We make a trip to REI and buy freeze dry and bug nets. We buy Odette a new headlamp. I return the next night after work (using the excuse of needing to take Will to Fedex) and buy maps and thermorest chair kits. Odette decides that she has to have “special treats.” She and Will decide that “cup ‘o soups” are boring and they have to have special soup in plastic containers from Uwajamia. They want special candies instead of mars bars. They need cocoa and coffee singlets instead of tea. We argue. I back off.

Thursday evening I haul the backpacks and sleeping bags and thermorests and all the rest of the gear up out of the basement and we start packing. It is obvious that we have a lot of food and that I’m going to have a heavy pack. Will takes his third of the food (his soup, his candy, the 20 oz freeze dry packets) his tent and pad and his sleeping bag, and he’s done. I have to persuade him to take a couple pairs of socks, rain gear, a change of pants, his ten essentials…

Odette has our double sleeping bag. She’s scared that she’ll be cold. She has about thirty pounds of clothing. She wants to carry her share so she packs the first aid kit, her soups and special treats – and six more fleece layers. I sneak the space blanket into her pack.

I’ve got the rest of the food, the stove (and eight gas canisters) a kitchen fly, a tent, the filter, a repair kit, a big stack of maps and route descriptions, Routes & Rocks by Crowder & Tabor, and a bunch of other stuff. Surprisingly it isn’t that bad – leaving out the rope and rack makes a big difference. The trail mix fills three two-pound wide-mouthed plastic jars. The soups get packaged in zip lock bags. We seemed to have tons of candy and cliff bars

Somehow it all fits. Will is getting too big for a kid’s pack and the $80 Costco special he’s used for the last four years doesn’t look like it will carry a heavy load well. He’s got stuff tied on the top and hanging off the sides. I strap a thermorest to one side of Odette’s pack and her hiking sticks to the other. She is using a pack that we originally bought for her fifteen years ago – I’ve taken it on maybe a hundred climbs because I like its size. It’s beat up and faded and she looks like she has been hauling it around for years. My pack is heavy but well balanced. I’ve got the tent on one side and a thermorest on the other. I must look like a tenderfoot with too much stuff.

We leave home at 5:30 on Saturday morning. We’ve got muffins to eat in the car and we make coffee on our way out the door. We drive I-90 to Cle Elum, then SR97 to Wenatchee, then 97ALT to Chelan. Odette wants to mail a letter. The gas station south of Chelan can’t help. We drive towards town and drop it off in a motel lobby. Then we rush for Field’s Point Landing. We get there shortly after 9:00. We change shoes and I put in my brand new orthotics. We carry our packs down to the dock. We buy tickets. We wait. We amuse ourselves reading about Lyme disease, West Nile virus, Hanta virus – and the organic remedies proposed by the Lutherans. Art & Jo aren’t there yet. Odette frets. They show up at about 9:40. They got there early, went into town for breakfast, came back. We watch to make sure our packs and ski poles get loaded. We board.

The boat is called “The Lady of the Lake”. It is one of a sequence of Ladies of the Lake. The original Lady burned huge stacks of cord wood. The newest one is a catamaran called “The Lady Cat” that takes about half as long to make the trip. We chose the slower Lady. As it pulls away from the dock I realize that I’m wearing my sun glasses and that I’ve left my regular glasses in the car. It wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t carrying four pounds of books to read on the trip. Art and Arthur play scrabble on a folding board for most of the long slow ride. I haven’t seen Art since early summer. We catch up on climbs and family.

After stopping at numerous private docks, the Lady arrives at Stehekin. We drop packs and head into the restaurant for burgers. I can’t see the menu. After eating we go to the Park Service visitors center and talk about permits, etc. Eventually we board the bus and head for high bridge. The bus driver used to live in Stehekin but left when his kids started high school. He talks too much but at least his spiel is informative and kind of funny. He knows about Tupshin and acts impressed that Art has climbed it. We disembark at high bridge and go looking for the trailhead. At about 3:30 in the afternoon we finally start hiking.

Agnes Creek is a long flat valley with steep walls. The afternoon was hot. The trail had two or three inches of dust. We got to five mile camp the first night. We camped between a dry channel and the water in a flat rocky campsite. There were two women camped in the main camp who were heading the other way. We told them about the shuttle schedule and they told us to take the new crest trail. We ate beef stew.

The next morning we packed up and headed south. We encountered a bunch of people headed north – notably a group of about a dozen supported by packhorses. We took a short break at swamp creek and laughed at the sign for the swamp creek trail (it said “not maintained” but it was hard to believe that that there was ever a trail there to maintain.) At hemlock camp the trail split with the old trail going straight and the new trail branching off to the right. We took the new trail and it ascended gently through thick brush and avalanche tracks up the side of the valley. Eventually Art and Will decided that they wanted to walk at their own pace and went on ahead. The rest of us were slowing down (not me, of course – I was only keeping Odette company!). Jo and Arthur began resting about every twenty feet – so Odette and I went ahead. It was late afternoon. The sun was really, really hot. The air was really, really muggy. The trail switchbacked up and up. It felt like a really long eleven miles.

Eventually Art came back with no pack and said that he and Will had stopped at the first official camp. He reported that there was no water there and that he thought we ought to look around for a better site. He headed back to find Jo and Arthur, and Odette and I continued on to the camp. It was way uphill from the trail and very dry – what were the rangers thinking? Will had already set up his tent. He was not happy to hear that we were going to look for a better place. I headed back down the trail and met Jo and Arthur at the main trail – Art had already gone on ahead. I caught up to him in a couple minutes and after ten minutes of hiking we were out of the trees into a pretty meadow cirque. Lots of grass, a stream in the center, but no official camps. I saw bent grass just across the creek and found a small tent site next to a big boulder. We continued for half an hour looking for a better site but not finding anything. Finally we decided we’d take the boulder site and I headed back to break the news to Will. He was gracious and I helped him pack up his stuff. Odette took off and she and the Freemans were relaxing (with Arthur on top of the boulder) when Will and I got there. We fit three tents into the small space and I think we had chicken with rice that night. A through-hiker that Will and I saw just before we got to the camp returned a couple hours later. He was confused by the signs at hemlock camp and had hiked back up to ask us if he was on the right trail. I tried to show him where he was on the map but I couldn’t see it without my glasses and was pointing at the bottom when were were at the top. Art straightened the guy out and he didn’t seem concerned that he had hiked six or eight miles out of his way. Jo saw a mouse that had fallen into the creek so it became “swimming-mouse camp”. Art and Arthur rigged a sling with a carabineer from a flake on the side of a second big boulder and we hung our food bags out of reach of bears (and mice.) We had a gorgeous view of Dark Mountain and the lower Agnes Creek valley.

The next morning we saddled up again and hiked three or four miles to Suiattle Pass. We dropped down to cross another cirque full of boulders and snow and saw a lot of white fir trees with the bark slashed off. The camp the ladies at five-mile had recommended was about a mile before the pass and would indeed have had excellent views. Just before the pass we met two older guys coming from Image Lake. They told us about having seen bear tracks on the trail and then looking up to see the bear in a meadow above them. We dropped 800 feet down on the other side of the pass, hiked past the two miners cabins (the log cabin is collapsed, the plywood one full of trash and mice). It was hot and dusty. Eventually Will and Art and I decided to hike at our own pace (Art and I were concerned about getting to camp early enough to find a vacant site and Will needed to find a bathroom.) The trail switchbacked up a thousand feet and then ran level for miles along a meadowed ridge with Glacier Peak right THERE. There were bear tracks all over in the dust. We finally made it to the lake and found the backpackers camp – in a dusty draw below the lake. There was a party in a hammock occupying the main campsite so we left Will hunting for the toilet and went looking in the trees. We found a decent camp closer to the lake with plenty of room for our tents but without a view. We dropped our packs and left Will to guard the stuff while I filtered some water to carry back to Odette. I hadn’t left camp when Odette and Jo and Arthur arrived, having covered the switchbacks almost as quickly as we did. It was another long hot day but we were at least twenty miles from the nearest trailhead and it felt good.

We set up a dusty but sheltered camp and had teriyaki chicken. (or maybe it was chicken with rice – we only ate two of the three pouches of it, whatever it was.) We ran a cord over a tree branch, tied a carabineer to the end of it, and ran our bear cords through the ‘biner. We had to walk to the lake on a way trail for water. Odette preferred to go the long way around. The signs said no swimming since the inlets and outlets were dry, but I washed my legs in the lake anyway. Will changed into pants with his knees hanging out and washed the cocoa out of his other pair. There were lots of marmots around. It was a pretty place, but I don’t understand why it is so famous. Perhaps it is nicer with wildflowers and running water.

The next morning we hiked the mile or so to the lookout. On the way there we met the lookout couple heading for Cloudy Pass. Not real social, but what would you expect from people who volunteer to spend summers out there. The view was, in fact, spectacular. Everybody brought books (and Scrabble) so we sat in the sun and read. It was bright enough that I could read with my sunglasses so I went through route descriptions and Crowder & Tabor. I visited the outhouse and stole a couple yards of toilet paper since Odette was becoming anxious about running out. Early in the afternoon we packed up and hiked back to the camp. Just before the “no horses” signs we saw bear tracks and then a bear. It wasn’t concerned about us and ambled off into the trees, busy with huckleberries. We looked and pointed and finally hiked on. We couldn’t talk anyone into coming with us, so Art and I left alone to climb Plumber Peak. We went to the lake, then straight up to the ridge which we followed to the gentle meadowed hump we’d seen from the lookout. We contoured across a skree slope from there and then climbed a rock slide to the ridge. We ran the ridge for a ways then went around the corner and climbed up to a false summit. We crossed over that and a short scramble on loose rock took us to the top. The views were even better than at the lookout and we spent the time to identify a lot of old friends. (Goode and Dome and Baker and Eldorado and Black and Clark and Pugh, Sloan, Three Fingers – and whole bunch of others.) We could see Canyon Lake and the long trail winding all the way around the ridge to get to it. We could see Spider Gap and Lyman Lake. We could see the snow and the little lakes below us. The benchmark on the summit was loose. Eventually we headed down – contouring across the meadows to hit the trail at the top of the switchbacks. We stopped to inspect Ladies Camp – very horsy. We found the lady carved in the tree from whence the name of the camp. Evidently shepherding at the start of WWI was a lonely way to spend the summer. The features of the lady were reminiscent of the carvings my father did. Perhaps it’s something about the medium – or the lady. Termites have gotten into her base. There was an iron headboard from a bed abandoned nearby.

We hiked the long dusty trail through the meadows back to our camp. The party in the hammock was gone, replaced by a guy in a megamid. I think we had pasta prima vera that evening. During the night it sprinkled – a little. In the morning it was drizzling – kind of. We had decided the evening before that if it was pouring we would hole up where we were, but it wasn’t really raining enough to keep us in our tents. We had breakfast and talked about what to do. Art said he would hike to the lookout to ask about the forecast, but Jo decided that we might as well all walk. Odette and Will put their pack covers on and did impressions of Conestoga wagons. We dropped down the thousand feet we’d climbed up and met a guy with two teenage kids and a canister of pepper spray. There were lots of huckleberries to eat. The rain hadn’t exactly settled the dust but at least it wasn’t blazing hot. We climbed the eight hundred feet up and then took the hikers shortcut around Suiattle Pass. The shortcut was steep and rocky but beautiful. Art and Arthur and Will went ahead. After more switchbacks we arrived at Cloudy Pass. This was easily the most spectacular trail view of the whole trip. Art had dropped Arthur’s pack in a campsite at the pass and had gone on with his own pack to see if we could claim a site with water below the pass. We admired the view and hiked up the arm to see it better. Eventually Art returned saying that he had a spot, albeit a horsy spot, by a creek. We picked up our packs and hiked on down the trail. When we got to the horse camp we continued on up into the meadow and found a better site in a finger of trees at the same elevation as the pass. (The spot where Art and Jo had camped the previous year.) There were lots of gentian and scarlet gillia.

We set up our three tents – Odette and I got the view location. We rigged a high line between two trees with a carabineer suspended in the middle and hauled up our food bags. We rigged up the kitchen fly. (Three corners tied high in trees, the fourth supported by a 50-foot line from another grove of trees. The fly was ten feet in the air and almost flat. It didn’t provide any shade that the trees didn’t provide better. If it had rained, though, everyone would have been grateful to have had it!) We had some kind of Thai Shrimp that I wouldn’t recommend. Will and Odette and I played pinochle.

The next morning we hiked down to Lyman Lake. Jo tripped over a root and fell just before crossing the outlet stream so we paused while she washed up. We hiked up the official trail to the upper lake while it meandered through alp land and over moraines. Absolutely gorgeous country! Art kept seeing places that he thought were where he had camped. We hiked all the way to the snout of the glacier where we parked ourselves on big rocks. We read. We played with icebergs. We threw snowballs. We touched the calving face of the ice (and heard rocks go whizzing by.) Arthur and Jo (and even Will) built rock towers. I walked way down to the first rapids and back. We watched a group of four backpackers pick their way down from Spider Gap. In the middle of the afternoon we hiked out, staying next to the water. Will found his own way on the other side of the lake from the rest of us. Odette worried until we were reunited. We took the alternate way down, doing a little boulder hopping and then following switchbacks at the edge of the heather. We hiked out next to the lake, stopping on the main trail to talk to the resident ranger.

The food bag was getting much smaller. That night we had another beef stew. Will and Odette announced that they were sick of trail mix. Art and I decided that we’d climb Cloudy Peak the next day. Even though we’d been talking about going up the meadowed slope on the right-hand side we decided that we’d go up the skyline on the left. Will was not enthusiastic. Odette opined that she could find trails to wander down by the pass. We heard coyotes howling after dark. (Later Jo was certain that she found their tracks and that she could identify four individuals!) We woke Will up after midnight to look at Mars.

In the morning we headed across the meadows aiming for the ridge above the pass. There was some kind of metal mast with yellow signs on it way out in the middle of the meadow. We threaded our way up between two rock outcroppings and waited for Art and Jo on the ridge top. Once everyone got there Jo decided that she wanted to contour across the boulder field back to the meadows so that she could go up that way. We all followed but I realized quickly that Odette wasn’t going to like the boulders and I shouted back to her that it was fine if she wanted to bail out. She did and Will followed for only a few more feet before he dug his feet in and refused to budge. After some frustrating attempts to convince Will to come along (with Odette standing next to the boulders inviting Will to join her) I told Will that I’d see him later and I took off uphill. Arthur and I went straight up the boulders to the ridge while Art followed Jo part way across the boulders and then back to the ridge. The ridge was, in fact, quite easy with a boot trail to the top of the first hump and easy ground to the second. At the top of the second hump was a short steep rock scramble – I got there first and followed dirt to a dead end. Art and I looked down a thousand feet and decided to find a less exposed route. We found it up a dirty gully with a cheval move at the top. Lots of peaks to identify from the summit, but no register.

We left the summit and left Jo and Arthur at a flat just below. We dropped four or five hundred feet to the top of an easy gully that gave us a route through the cliffs and climbed down to the boulders and skree on the south of the summit. We traversed the boulders and slabs for over a mile, encountering some small snow patches, and finally climbed a rockslide to what we thought was the summit of Northstar. In fact it was a false summit and we had to drop down on steep boulders on the North side to get around a gap. Art dropped too low and I stayed high crossing in the moat above some very hard snow. Then we had a short scramble on big boulders to the summit. I saw a board near the top that looked like the side off of a crate. From the summit we could see part of a platform on the South side, less than 50 feet below the summit, that didn’t look natural. Later, back on the false summit, we could see that it had mining debris all over it. We saw a large plume of smoke coming from a ridge just south-west of Dome peak – smoke that hadn’t been there when we looked at Dome from the top of Cloudy. We looked at the rocky north side of Bonanza and decided that we’d go a different way. The return was quicker – we stuck to the ridge top as far as we could which was much faster then the boulders. Art headed for our descent gully. I stayed high (right under the cliffs) and took the first gully I came to. It was steep but it got me to the ridge a couple hundred feet below the flat where we’d left Jo and Arthur. Art topped out and then waited for me as I climbed up to where we left the others, retrieved their note, and hiked down to join him. Jo thought she’d seen goats near the summit of Northstar. We descended the ridge to the meadows and then dropped through huckleberry to our camp. Odette and Will were feeling sheepish about staying behind. They had hiked part way up the meadows after poking around by the pass.

While we were resting a covey of grouse (or maybe ptarmigan) meandered back and forth through our camp. We played pinochle. We had kung pao chicken that night. We took down the kitchen fly. We organized as much of our stuff as we could. We wanted to leave by 8:00 in the morning in hope of getting to Holden while they were still serving ice cream. We heard the coyotes again that night.

We got up in the morning, packed and were on the trail by 7:30. We walked pretty well for a couple of hours and then took an extended break at rebel camp. We saw a very pretty buck deer on the trail while resting there. Will and I got out ahead when the others stopped for a drink. When they came to Heart lake, Jo decided to go for a swim over the objections of Arthur and Art. Odette continued and caught up to Will and me while we were resting. We hiked together to the ball field just outside of Holden where Odette walked the labyrinth and we waited for Art and Jo. Eventually we hiked into the village and checked in. Odette and I took showers and changed into clean clothes. We had gotten there in time for the second serving of lunch so we had lentil soup and met a 70 year old lady who had climbed everything (she broke a hip in a crevasse on Rainier and said that she wasn’t as active after that.) She was excited to hear that we were thinking of climbing Copper the next day – saying that she had done it some thirty years earlier. Odette and I went to the orientation and learned that the expectation was that everyone would go to vespers. We went to the soda counter and had large servings of ice cream. We walked to the museum but chose not to interrupt a 12 step meeting in progress there. We visited the bookstore. We hung out on the porch watching scrabble until dinner. Will said that he might hike to Holden Lake with me, but that he wouldn’t try Copper. I alerted Art that I might bail on him and we agreed to figure it out that evening. They served pizza outdoors for dinner. Art scored eight extra pieces for lunch the next day. The kitchen lady who gave him a bucket to put it in, asked where he was going so early. Upon hearing that he planned to climb Copper she informed him that she had a friend who wanted something more than a trail hike. The friend, Kevin, connected with Art that evening and talked his way onto the trip. (From Chicago, he was a 25 year old marathon runner with no mountaineering experience.) Will and I pretended to be asleep and skipped vespers. Afterwards we went to the pool hall and ate popcorn and looked at the whimsical museum items. Ultimately Will flaked out again and I told Art that I was on for Copper, after all.

We met at 5:30 in the dining hall. Last night’s coffee was still pretty good and there were oranges. Kevin showed up in borrowed boots and sporting a six-foot long cross country ski pole. We signed the liability release and hit the trail. We climbed a couple thousand feet in maybe three miles of trail and came to the upper part of Copper basin – swampy but very pretty and in a spectacular cirque between Copper and Buckskin. We needed to get over a five-hundred foot forested “hump” to get to the basin we were aiming for. We contoured around the eastern side of it, in thick brush, and then found ourselves at the top of a cliff band. We threaded our way down and came to open country and eventually to a rock slide. We ascended rock and skree – very tiring – to snow. The snow took us up a couple hundred feet and then it was back to the boulders and skree. It was late morning when we finally got to the base of the east face. This face is a striking slab with small joints at steep angles across it. It makes a right angle with the northeast ridge and there is a weak layer that forms a large crack where they meet. The face is probably eight hundred feet high. Art started up the south face of the northeast ridge but decided that it was more than we had signed up for. We then headed up the crack. Fifty feet up was a snow patch that we were able to work by in a damp moat. Above that was a big chockstone above a blank section of the face. Art headed out onto the face on a small joint and started up. We followed but we were pretty far above the deck and couldn’t really see if the route was going to go. I got nervous watching Kevin on the small ledges. There was a lot of loose rock and you had to test every handhold because some of them broke off. I hollered up to Art asking if he could get back to the crack and he said he’d see, that it looked like there was a ledge just above him. He climbed another fifty feet straight up and I realized that he wasn’t going to get back to safe ground. He shouted down that he was not too far from the ridge. We were three or four hundred feet up at that point and I was concerned about down climbing the section above us. I asked Kevin how he felt about getting down off this stuff and he told me that he thought he could continue to climb on up and that he thought he could get down from where he currently was. I told Art that Kevin and I were going to down climb enough to get back over to the crack. We lost a couple hundred feet (and half an hour) but we ended up back in the crack a hundred feet above the chockstone. The climbing was easy from there and it felt safe. We went out fifty feet onto the face at the top for an easy finish.

The ridge was shattered rock and a series of pinnacles. We dropped down and worked a series of ledges and slabs around a couple of buttresses and over to a wide loose gully. At one point Kevin kicked off a rock the size of a softball that hit me square on the top of the head. It made me weak in the knees for a minute but didn’t draw blood. Kevin was very apologetic. We climbed the gully (with at least one fourth class move and a lot of loose rock) and then had a short scramble below the ridge crest to the summit. We summitted at about 2:00. There was a register with very few entries – most of them familiar. We could see from Baker to Rainier and all of the eastern part of the range. We could see Lake Chelan. We could see a small lake that we couldn’t identify that I later realized was Dumbell Lake. The sky was very hazy with smoke. There were ladybugs on the summit. I ate a cliff bar and some trail mix. We headed down. We descended the gully one at a time. It was painfully slow. We contoured back across the slabs and ledges to the ridge. I estimated an hour to the rockslide, another hour to the forest and an hour to camp – putting us back by 6:00. We began the descent of the crack – again one at a time. Art slung a rappel sling around the original chockstone to facilitate the move. The moat by the snow was a wet, muddy slither. We were 15 minutes behind schedule by the time the last one of us got down to the rockslide. We picked up packs at the bottom of the crack and ran down the skree. Kevin fell and scraped his knee. We descended the snow. Where there was a new layer on top the snow was soft and secure, but where the older layer was exposed it was hard enough that you couldn’t get a boot in.

We decided that we didn’t want to repeat the experience with the brush and cliffs so we aimed higher on the hump. The brush was just as bad there and we found that the cliffs went both ways. We retreated and tried again a little lower only to be repelled again. We found that the avalanche track was even harder travel than the basic brush. We thrashed our way down a creek bed hoping to be able to get over to a boulder field. We forced our way up the creek bank only to hit the cliffs again. This time we were able to follow a ramp down through the cliffs, though, and we came out in the creek bottom at the edge of the hump. Instead of following the creek back to the upper basin we headed uphill and intersected the trail. It was about 6:00. Kevin led us down the trail at a run, and we were back in Holden by 7:00.

Odette and Jo had met up with Kevin’s wife and they were waiting for us. We signed in at the hikehaus and Art and I ate the pork sandwiches that the ladies had saved us from lunch. Kevin went looking for the waitri that had gotten him into the trip. I showered and skipped vespers again. Art had to go to hear Jo sing.

In the morning we had oatmeal and toast with lots of jam and then packed up our stuff and left it for the truck to the Lady. We walked to the museum and I made Will take pictures of snow cats. We spent the rest of the morning in the library. We had lentil soup again for lunch (I had the egg salad sandwich that Odette had made for me for dinner the previous day.) Then we took the bus to the dock. We had about an hour to wait for the boat and Art and Jo swam in the lake. We watched the Lady Cat come and go. We had a long slow ride back down the lake on the Lady of the Lake – but we played four-handed pinochle all the way. Will didn’t like loosing and quit before the game ended.

It was 4:30 or 5:00 when we got back to the car. It was good to put my regular glasses on again. I had parked next to plantings and the sprinkler had left water spots (or really more of a thick sticky white deposit) all over the drivers’ side of the car. We headed home, taking the Navarre coulee shortcut. Will announced that he felt sick. We took SR97 and didn’t stop until Cle Elum. I was hungry by that time and we tried the barbeque place. We got turned off by a supervisor berating a young lady for clearing tables too thoroughly, so we walked out and bought Ritz crackers at Safeway. It was almost 9:00 when we got home.

In hindsight:

  • We really lucked out on the weather.
  • We all liked Holden – we plan to go back again (maybe when Art and I climb Bonanza next spring.)
  • We could have taken less stuff and been just as happy. (I could have left my book, the kitchen fly, two gas canisters, and a pound of trail mix at home which would have made my pack six or eight pounds lighter.)
  • We were lucky that my new orthotics didn’t kill my feet
  • We learned that you can’t read in the tent with sunglasses – even with a headlamp
  • Leaving camp in the same place for two or three nights at a time was a really good idea.
  • We should have had helmets (and maybe a rope) for Copper
  • The little plastic measuring cup and the thermorest seats were excellent additions
  • Will should have had a real pack

All in all it was a great trip that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. I can’t wait for the next one. Odette is ready to move on to bicycle touring. Will has turned his attention to internet comic strips, homework, and the ladies of Lakeside.


Here is a link to the book list.

Here are Will’s photos.