7.19.16 Maple Creek to Paradise River - Traci McGowan

Soggy morning! It didn't really rain anymore last night but everything, and I mean everything I own is wet - well, my sleeping bag and pad are dry (yay!) I slept so good last night (yay!) It took us awhile to pack up since it was so wet. Another hiker warned us that the trail ahead was washed out and it was near Maple Creek so the first part of the day we bushwhacked. The "trail" was marked with pink ribbons hanging in the trees and was fairly easy to follow.Once the trail was reestablished it was so overgrown with bracken fern that it felt like we were still bushwhacking. Then we started to climb and climb and climb. There were a couple of narrow traverse sections which two days ago wouldn't have bothered me a bit but today I really had to focus and talk myself through them. Eventually we crossed Steven Canyon road and then the trail meandered through an old-growth forest and then - glory be to God - the SUN came out. We shed our rain gear and started to dry out. We hiked a bit further to Reflection Lakes where mom was waiting for us. We piled our wet stuff and selves into the truck and headed up to Paradise and pizza for lunch. Pizza and lemonade. Yum! Then I used the bathroom and there was hot water! I really wanted to wash my hair but didn't. We drove back down to Reflection Lakes where we pulled out all of our stuff and spread it out in the sun. We replenished supplies and mom brought us blueberries, bananas and watermelon. After we said our goodbyes we headed to our camp for the night at Paradise River a short 2-miles away. The trail between Reflection Lakes and Paradise River was like a freeway after six days of relative solitude. Paradise River camp is nice, tucked away from the crowds. We hung the longest clothes line ever and all of our stuff had a chance to dry out. We sat on the bridge over the river and ate Chicken & Rice and talked to some day hikers. Now back in camp, I'm sitting here writing this as the glorious sun shines on my face. Today was a really good day. Miles hiked = 6.5. Total miles hiked = 53.9.


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