Boise to Stanley, Day Eight


June 24, 2005

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What a morning! When I awoke, I couldn't find my glasses. I was sure I had hung them from the roof when I went to bed yesterday. Sure of it.

But I had gotten up in the middle of the night to pee, as had everyone else, and although I remembered putting my glasses on, I could not distinctly recall where I had put them when I got back into bed. But I knew they were missing. After poking around for some time, I finally asked Carol and Art to help me look at about 5:15. We couldn't find them in the tent, nor on the ground outside. Giving up until the sun came up, I asked Art if he wouldn't mind starting the fire since he was already up. He sleepily agreed.

A few minutes later, Carol exclaimed "I found them." They had gotten into her sleeping bag, apparently catching on her clothes as she re-entered the tent after her own break.

Exasperated, but glad to be out of my prescription glacier glasses in the pre-dawn, we continued to prepare for the day.

Then Art couldn't find HIS glasses.

They turned up quickly, having fallen into the brush behind his pack. Soon we were packed and on our way- early, even.

After about 20 minutes of walking, we hit another crossing of the South Fork. On the far side was a really nice camping spot, much nicer than the one we had used.

A little further up the trail, we had still another crossing of the Payette. We looked at the map and determined that in front of us there were three more- two of the Payette, and one of the outlet from Hidden Lake. We looked at the map a little more and bushwhacked up to Hidden Lake without any further creek crossings. Good call.

Hidden Lake is a jewel. And this morning, it was in the sun (ah, warmth).

As we basked, a young deer was trying to get around us. Rather than take the long, circuitous route behind the photographer, it swam the inlet in the foreground.

Then it was time to head for Cramer Divide. As we climbed higher and higher up the valley, the view was stupendous. Here the fabulous Carol Merrill shows the view of Warbonnet.

Cramer Divide, to the right of Carol at about 9600', was crossed at 11am.

In preparation for another steep snow crossing, Art cut some more alpenstocks. Watching the scenery instead of his work, he managed to do a little blood-letting with his saw. Rummaging through the first aid kit for a band aid, he found there was not a single band aid left- we had used every last one on Carol's feet.

We carefully plunge-stepped the snow off the divide, then dropped on our butts to glissade. With a few steps here and there to avoid rock outcrops, we made it down to Upper Cramer Lake in time for a 12:30 lunch. Although there was a little snow below Upper Cramer, it was only in small patches.

After lunch, we had the discussion: we had enough food for another day, so do we lay in the sun or head out? Since we were out of band aids and low on toilet paper, we decided it was time to end the trip.

As we headed down to Flat Rock Junction, we finally saw some people. At Flat Rock, we did our final creek crossing of Redfish Creek, where I almost fell in after rolling a small rock underfoot. But mostly, it was a beautiful day walking through incredible country.

We hit the boat dock on Redfish at about 5:15, having just missed the boat. We fired up the emergency stove for the first time, and brewed up some tea and coffee while we waited for the 7 o'clock boat.

As we waited, we were joined by two young guys, one whom had forgotten his boots. He was going back to Stanley to buy some boots for their hike to Alpine Lake. Art asked him his foot size, then loaned the young man his boots.

Finally the boat arrived and we were whisked to the other end of the lake. We were fussing with the telephones trying to make arrangements to be picked up when Art said to me, "John, come see this." It was my truck- my wife had arrive less than 5 minutes after we got off the boat.

Time to go home.

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