“No coffee this morning, just water.”
I chugged as much filtered lake water as I
could, quenching a thirst that caught up
with me from not drinking enough for the
first two days.
The third day was the prettiest on the
trail so far. We passed several lakes but few
were as striking as Garnet Lake, which was
surrounded by vibrant wildflowers, green
tree tops and grass contrasting the pale
granite rocks and snow, all set against a
sky bluer than any I had ever seen. The lake
looked so inviting I had to jump in its cold,
clear waters—hugely revitalizing.
Soon after our break a hiker who
appeared to be in his late 60s zoomed past
us. This happened more than once on the
trail. Muir, who often ventured out into the
wilderness with nothing more than bread, tea
and a blanket—even while in his 60s—must
have been in incredible shape, I thought.
We made our way to Ruby Lake, which
was equally breathtaking. The glacially
sculpted rock walls surrounding the lake
have a red hue, which is how the lake earned
its name. The water was clear and blue and
its lack of mosquitos made the location all
the more perfect. We set up camp above the
lake around 4 p.m., giving us the break we
needed as we soaked in the remarkable view
DAY 3: 8 MILES
SHADO W LAKE ( 8,737 F T.) TO RUB Y LAKE ( 9,700 F T.)
THE DEVIL'S DOING
"A kind PCT hiker took our picture in front of
the Devil's Post Pile, where we accidentally
backtracked. PCT hikers were easier to spot
because they tended to carry less, hike faster
and wear more dirt."
"Ruby Lake was our favorite spot on the trip, not only for the scenery,
but for a welcome relief from relentless mosquitos."