SCT Phase II Day Four

Lewis Lake to Elk Lake

Living by the light of day, I was woken in the middle of the night (about 8pm) by hikers navigating by headlamp. They’d missed the turn in the trail and almost stumbled into the lake. When I was pitching my tent there was another hiker waiting for his girlfriend, and eating lunch while he waited. He casually mentioned they were planning doing 35km for the day. At that pace, I suspect he didn’t observe the interesting fungi.

My goal for rhe day was much less ambitious, heading to the hut at Elk Lake. Being an alpine lake, it was a stiff climb up the last few hundred metres – not helped by the fact that the trail was new, as it had been realigned to skirt away from a new cut block (aka clearcut). The usual regular signs every, or nearly every, kilometre were noticeably absent, so it was a bit of a mystery as to how far I still had to go.

The highlight of Elk Lake was the swimming dock made out of massive logs with a deck and even a swim ladder. The downside was once again, the absence of suitable tent pitches, so being the first to arrive, I once again pitched my tent underneath the hut. I was joined not long after arriving by the two headlamp navigators of the previous evening, and I was immediately recognized as one of them had played rugby with Jack when I was one of the coaches. Small world.

We all went swimming (refreshing due to the 800m altitude) and they made a huge lunch before heading off to the next hut. Oh to have twenty year old legs again! But I was happy enjoying a cup of tea and reading a book on the dock. And once again there were arrivals in the dark. I emerged from under the hut just to make sure I didn’t startle them then once again retired to my slumbers. Meanwhile they made an awful din, setting up their tent inside the hut, shining lights for hours, and I swear they had electric pumps to inflate their sleeping mats. Taking roughing it to a whole new level.

Elk Lake swimming dock
Calm as a …..

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