His Wonderful Creations

September 14, 2019—Day 7 on the JMT
Deer Creek to Purple Lake
Total distance walked: 7.7 miles

We spent another uneventful 12 hours in the tents away from the mosquitoes, and by 8:30AM, were back on the trail to Purple Lake. Having camped near Deer Creek—the last water source for the next six miles—we filled our bottles and reservoirs to the gills.

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Deer Creek

The first order of the morning was to cross over the creek. While I picked out an easy rock-hop path, Michael found a log that spanned the water. So much for the water shoes we brought.

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The forest provided an abundance of shade while we walked. Like yesterday, it was another steady climb with beautiful vistas. Occasionally we caught glimpses south to the Silver Divide.

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An easy trek on a sandy trail.

The sun was bright in the sky, such a difference from last year when we had rain, hail, and mostly cloudy days. To pass time, we played memory games like I’m Going on A Trip, and The Song Title Game.  We continued looking at rocks.  Indeed, Michael chose one small rock per day to give to his wife.

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We stopped and watched a sparrow-sized bird voraciously dig into a pinecone to get its nutritious seeds.

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The trail climbed along the north wall of Cascade Valley only to descend on the edge of a windy mountain.

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Climbing

We kept a slow, steady pace downhill due to my fear of being on the edge, and because the wind blew my hair into my eyes making it difficult to see the trail.  I thought of a post I saw on Facebook about the element of wind. This person really disliked wind but gave thanks and praise to God because it’s another one of His wonderful creations. I tried to keep that in mind when strong gusts made it feel like we’d be blown off the mountain.

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Looking down from the side of the mountain.

By early afternoon we reached Duck Creek and crossed it high above the water. We stopped for a break and Michael filled our water bottles.

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Crossing Duck Creek.

Immediately beyond Duck Creek we began a grueling uphill slog on rocky switchbacks.

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Intense climbing.

About the time I was weary of climbing, Purple Lake came into view.

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Purple Lake sits below the colorful mountains.

We finally reached the lake at 4:00PM.  The west shore had lakeview campsites, but instead of stopping there, we crossed the lake’s outlet on a sturdy bridge and followed a short fishing trail up the mountain.

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Purple Lake

At the end of the trail we scrambled over a few boulders and found a very private site, albeit a little windy.  How Michael was always able to find the best tent spot, I don’t know, but he did.

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After a delicious and well-earned dinner—that we wolfed down just like the sparrow—we headed to bed. With all this going to bed before sunset, I was missing the night sky.  I popped my head out of the tent for a look.  The moon rode high across a sea of stars.  Michael was snoring which made me happy because I knew he was getting the rest he needed.  I tucked back in, inserted ear plugs and waited for sleep to overtake me.

To be continued…

4 thoughts on “His Wonderful Creations

    1. Janet Post author

      🙂 Thank you, Rae. I’m so happy that my son took a lot of photos. The only thing on my mind was usually trying to get up a hill with that heavy backpack. 🙂

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  1. Patti Ross

    Another glorious day. I have driven under windy conditions, but walking on the edge of a mountain with windy gusts would not be my favorite thing. But the scenery is well worth it! Thanks for sharing. And I love the idea of rocks as souvenirs!

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    1. Janet Post author

      I liked the rock idea too, except maybe having to carry each one. 🙂 It did keep us attentive to the different kind of rocks we saw though. Thanks, Patti.

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