The Wonderland Trail

Day 7 Maple Creek to Cougar Rock Campground

Up by 5:30am, on the trail by 7:50am, and we start up through Steven’s Canyon. Lots of brush, makes it hard to use trekking poles. A few views of the bridge above, and the tunnel. Then, surprisingly, a few well forested areas, then back into the brush as we start our climb out of Steven’s Canyon.

It just becomes one long trudge out of the canyon, and we just want it to be over! Nothing really to look at, as you are concealed by brush and trees most of the way up. I’m sweating like crazy, just running off of me in streamlets…

Sylvia Falls
Sylvia Falls

We only stop twice, once to take a picture of a falls, and the other time to drink some much needed fluids. I just want to get out of here!!! Finally, we do, and as we level out, we reach Louise Lake, and decide to take a quick lunch break here. Very pretty, nice place to stop and take a break. On to Reflection Lakes at the top!

A slight wind has picked up, and is rippling the water, so we don’t get the picture perfect reflection that we were hoping for, but the mountain is still visible in the water…We run into a couple of bikers from Kentucky out here for the first time, and we stop and talk with them for quite awhile, they had lots of questions.

In their own words, “We ain’t got nothing like this in Kentucky!!”

They seem very impressed with the scale of the Mountain, and with what we are doing. In their own words, “We ain’t got nothing like this in Kentucky!!” At first, they seemed pretty surprised that we were attempting to go all the way around the mountain. They take a picture of us, and before we leave, we convince them that they should go and see Sunrise!

Louise Lake
Louise Lake

On to Cougar Rock Campground for us…Nice trail downhill through forest, some giants here also. Pass several waterfalls, get a nice picture of one right before Carter Falls, as it’s too hard to get a good picture of Carter Falls, too many tree branches in the way. Cross the Nisqually River, lots and lots of day hikers here, milling about.

Finally, reach our campsite around 1:00pm, and Russ tells us that he won’t be going on. We’re very sorry to see him go, but he wanted to go to his wife’s 20th class reunion, it was important. I thought that commendable, that he would do that for his wife, and we understood, but still, we will miss him. We’ve already experienced so much together.

we go to the Henry M. Jackson Visitor center for a hot shower!!!! Ahh, boy did that feel great, I’m clean again!!

 

Reflection Lake
Reflection Lake

Sally, Sandy, and Shannon arrive around 4:45pm, very happy to see them, and not just for the food, either!! After getting all of our supplies together, we go to the Henry M. Jackson Visitor center for a hot shower!!!! Ahh, boy did that feel great, I’m clean again!!

We also eat at the Paradise Inn, very fancy, and I have a Baron of Beef. Tasty, and the wild huckleberry ice cream afterwards just finishes the whole thing off. Back at camp, Sandy had made a chocolate cake to celebrate Ed’s 34th birthday, and we eat that under headlamp light…

They stay until 9:30, or so, and then head back down…Sorry to see them go, it was good to be in touch with home again. We get to bed late for us, around 10:00pm.