Wednesday, July 29, 2015

JMT Day 8: Deer Creek to Lake Virginia

This was my worst day on the trail, by far. The problem began as blisters and then increased to a sunburn, tummy troubles, and bonking. I thought I was taking nice pictures, but when I looked at them after the fact, many of them were crap. I guess it's hard to take good pictures when your brain is not fully functioning.

The first 5.2 miles from Deer Creek to Duck Creek was a stretch without any water. It was not very pretty, although there were some nice views at points. There was a lot of sagebrush, and some flowers. You'll notice several shots of paintbrushes because this segment was supposed to have a few different species of them, and I was trying to find them all in my impaired state.

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Paintbrush
Paintbrush

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Paintbrush
Paintbrush

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And... at last... Duck Creek.

Duck Creek

And columbines growing there...

Columbines

Columbine

Columbines

Columbines at Duck Creek

I was in bad shape by the time I got there. Purple Lake was another 2.5 miles, and Lake Virginia was another 4.5 miles. By the time I reached Duck Creek, I had reformulated my itinerary for how many miles a day I planned to do to get to MTR (skipping VVR). By the time I got to Purple Lake, I'd decided to quit the trail altogether. And maybe I would just camp at Purple Lake.

Purple Lake

Purple Lake
Purple Lake

Purple Lake

I couldn't find a good spot to camp at Purple Lake, and my friends had gone on to Lake Virginia, where they were expecting me. So I kept going. Those were not fun miles to hike.

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Paintbrushes

Even feeling as sick as I did, I could not help but notice the beauty of Virginia Lake.

Lake Virginia

Lake Virginia

Lake Virginia

The last thing I did that night before hitting the hay was snag this pic of a white columbine. It was the only one I saw on the entire trail, and it was right after the Lake Virginia inlet crossing at mile 74.7 of the trail.

White Columbine

Day 8 miles hiked: 9.7 mi
Day 8 elevation gain: 1510 ft
Total Distance Hiked to date: 58.0 mi
Total JMT distance hiked to date: 42.3 mi

All of my JMT photos can be seen here.

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