7/30/18 – Marie Lake

Day 40

Miles: 878.75 to 866.45

Our campsite by Mono Creek is a comfortable one. Part of me wants to stay in my sleeping bag even after the alarm rings but we have to climb from the valley and it’s a 2,000-foot hill so the other part of me nudges to get going so that we are at the top before the sun is out and baking us.

The hill is not bad after all. It’s still 2,000-feet to the top but there are switchback and a smooth raising traverse. All treed and in shade. It’s a good cruising.

We have two creeks to ford. The water is refreshing. Not more than calf deep. I wish it was a warmer day. There are some nice swimming holes along the way.

There are more clouds in the sky that occasionally block the sun. At west Fork Bear Creek we catch up with Mel, Swiss lady we’ve met at Mammoth Lakes. She is 75 and she is crushing it on the PCT.

“It’s going to be raining,” she says. “The mosquitoes are out.”

Apparently in Switzerland bugs are a predicament of a bad weather. I also think it’s going to rain. Not because of mosquitoes but the air has that cool feel to it like it was trying to warn us that rain is coming.

First drops fall just when we catch a sight of Marie Lake. We scout the shore for campsites. In the end we find one in the same cluster of sites we stayed at four years ago. Our timing is once again perfect. The thunder and lightening come shortly after the tent is up.

Out tent is still not fixed, so we watch the water closely. It’s ok for a while but then it starts pooling around the corners. So I put my rain gear on and head into the storm to dig trenches. I find out my rain gear is no longer waterproof either. I had it for 6 years. It’s definitely time for a new one.

Dave takes the second shift and dig some of the trenches even longer. It takes us an hour of digging but the inside of the tent stays dry.

The rain stops shortly afterwards. It’s time to cook dinner and explore the lake. It’s so peaceful and calm after the storm. Birds are back to singing their songs, marmot gets curious of our camp, and the sky is bluer and bluer. Things are looking good for tomorrow.