Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sekrit Lake in the SE Olympics

Carpool spot

carpool spot

working our way up to the lake


Video of lake just coming into view
We could hear an elk and thought it might be at the lake but it was not.

There it is!

Sphagnum squarrosum  at the lake

Patches jumps right in for no known reason

Tea time and my new filter
Then it starts to rain hard,

so Critter tests out his new cuben fiber tarp

Biggest Hericium I have ever seen.

Critter in his brand new mega bucks rain jacket

Earth star puff ball (Geastrum saccatum)  nestled into a bed of glittering wood moss (Hylocomnium splendens)

Off to bag yet another sekrit lake yesterday.  This hike was short and steep.  My body rebelled, "Enough hiking for this week!"
my bones and joints screamed at me. 
But I knew I would get my second wind. 
Mornings are hard for me; hiking up hill is hard for me.  I have anemia, I’m waiting for menopause to fix that, I guess I’ve got about 5 years to go.  My mother and both my Grandma’s had hysterectomies, so I don’t know what to expect based on my family genetics.  All I know for sure is that I intend to take my uterus to the grave with me.  Bloody doctors and their female mutilation!
  In the mean time I try to remember to take iron, but I forget and it takes six months of remembering to take iron to build your levels back up.  At my last check my serum ferritin level was 5.  
I think my low serum ferritin levels are to blame for my slooooooow uphill speeds.  I get winded pretty fast.  So, I was struggling at the start of this steep hike.  But when we hit the off trail section I felt better.  The off trail section was steep, so steep that we had to hold on the blueberry bushes and small cedar tree branches to pull ourselves up the hill.  Off trail felt great, yeah I was tired, but it was exciting and got the adrenaline going.

Would I impale myself on devil's club? Would we get cliffed out?  Would we find the lake?  Would we get hypothermia and die out there?  Fun stuff.
Well, we made it to the lake just fine, we found a route that ran between the cliffs and delivered us right to the lake.  The lake was beautiful and untarnished (unless you count the high mercury levels in the sediments), no fishing lines or toilet paper, no rusty old cans in fire pits and BIG fish!  I did not fish, but Critter cast his rod a few times.  Then it started to rain and I had to get back to deal with my helpless family, so we left.
We took a different route down and it was a better route, but still, it got the adrenaline pumping... would we end up on top of a cliff and have to backtrack up the slippery hill?  Would we get sucked down into the outlet stream and not be able to climb back up?  Nope, we had an easy time of it and got back on the trail exactly where we left it, in a huge thicket of devil's club.
Now I’m going to rest up until Friday.  On Friday I’m going back to Church Creek, but with an old friend.  Maybe we will slay some dragons up there.
3 miles with 2,100 feet elevation gain

Track and elevation with no map
Cortinarius violaceus (I think)

Mossy goodness

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