After such a brutal day before it seemed impossible we could still rise more elevation, but that’s exactly what we did. The true top of Walt Hill was still before us and we rose to a vantage point that looked back on our campsite and gave us an even better perspective of where we had just spent the night. It will live in our memories for a long, long time.
After topping Walt, we began a down climb that seemed to surprisingly still travel up AND down along the way in true SCT fashion. There were several overlooks to keep us motivated as the deeper forest brought on some humidity and bugs for part of the day. Our sore legs liked the reprieve of more downhill, but the knees did not.
Arriving at Elk Lake was comforting and as first to the hut we had first pick at where to set up. The extremely dusty conditions had us choosing the hut for once and we deliberated whether that was the right call and if anyone else would show up.
Covered in sweat we quickly decided to take a dip in the lake and then go for a canoe ride in the provided old jalopy of a canoe stored under the hut. The canoe was great not a hole in it.
The dock was a tied bundle of logs and shot way out into the lake which allowed hikers the chance to jump directly into deep water. We quickly jumped and tried to wash off as we treaded around. The oils off our sweaty bodies was visible as a sheen on the surface and we joked that we had actually made the lake dirtier.
After drying off, we heard a familiar voice calling out and realized our trail buddy was a day early headed in our direction and we rejoiced in his company once again. 2 other very nice ladies joined us as well.
We talked over dinner and into the early evening until hiker midnight at 9 pm arrived.
As we got ready for bed, the scurry of feet in the rafters cued us in to the nighttime raiders of mice and we felt glad to be bundled all into our tent, free of mice.
It turned out to be a dreadful nights sleep between the mice playing and our friend coming into the hut after the frog croaking right outside his tent ran him into the hut.