WONDERLAND TRAIL , Day 8, Devil’s Dream – North Pyuallup, 8/11/2012
It’s always fun to explore a new area, and this day was all about it. We entered the part of the park we never been to, not on the Wonderland Trail, neither any other hikes.
It was a long day – 14 miles – and the mosquitoes returned with the first sign of daylight so needles to say we were happy to leave Devil’s Dream very early in the morning. We waved at Ranger Dave as we passed the patrol cabin and from there we were in completely new territory.
After an initial descend we arrived at the second suspension bridge on route. I was little uneasy about it after the story Ranger Dave told us about a man who was so scared of crossing it that he scrambled down and tried to cross the raging river, unsuccessfully, there is a suspension bridge for a reason there. I was relieved to see this bridge was higher that the one over Carbon River but otherwise perfectly easy to cross.
Right from the beginning the following uphill promised more open terrain and views. It was a pretty walk (if you can call huffing and puffing that) up between wildflowers, I have never seen so many tiger lilies in one place, with blue sky above our heads. Nearing the top, we stepped into a rugged terrain of rock. Western Anemone thrived here but not many other flowers bloomed around. The trail was rocky and tough, our pace slowed down, but every ache our feet felt was justified by the beauty of this area. Smaller ridges nearby invited us for scrambling while across the deep valley the bare cliffs of Mt. Rainier dominated the view. In vain we looked for any possible route to the top from this side.
The meadows and wildflowers returned atop Emerald Ridge and here right in front of our eyes we have all the elements of nature’s wild beauty. Unfortunately we could not linger long, the miles ahead of us were pressing and we continued on the gravely trail, admiring the scenery, speechless.
Andrew’s Lake was still mostly frozen, and at that point an ice bath for our feet sounded great so we stopped to rest briefly. The water was, well it was freezing and at some spots it had the consistency of a slurpee. And it definitely worked.
Refreshed we made it to Klepatchee Camp. Immediately we knew why this camp was so popular. Campsites with a view of Mt. Rainier, a beautiful lake reflection the mountain, and beautiful meadows definitely added lots of appeal. We decided to stay for dinner but again the time was not on our side and after about an hour we had to say good bye and continue towards our destination.
The North Pyuallup Camp was full when we arrived, except for the group site. We knew for sure we did not have a group site so either people who were suppose to stay there decided they liked the individual site better, or somebody who did not have a permit for the camp took our spot.