September 26, 2014
The wind gusted and howled throughout the night creating a swirling vortex outside my tent. Inside the tent, burrowed in my sleeping bag with my jacket over my head I was toasty warm. Despite it being chilly out when I emerged from my tent at 6:30 I was quite warm….possibly due to the fact that I had all my clothes on including my rain jacket.
I practiced my x-country map and compass skills by navigating to one of Sheep Camp Lakes. I immediately renamed the lake to Found Lake. Now within a mile of one another we have LOST AND FOUND LAKES! I was perfectly on target and that kicked my self confidence up a few notches.
After my map and compass skills training I head up the trail towards Silliman Pass. Now I’m sitting on a ledge halfway up Silliman Pass with the Sierra Range spread out in front of me. It is such a treat having the binoculars! I have picked out Mt Brewer and North and South Guard whose presence accompanied me earlier this summer on my Circle of Solitude hike. I spread out the map on the granite slab and pick out all the peaks, canyons and valleys I’ve hiked! Then I look at all the side canyons I have not yet explored and begin dreaming about next summer’s trip.
The wind continues to gust, howl and swirl and way way in the distance I see clouds building. They are moving swiftly and will surely bring rain and possibly snow.
On my way back down from Silliman Pass I circumnavigate both Beville and Ranger Lakes. Whereas the shores of Beville lake are grassy, Ranger Lake is surrounded by Lodgepoles. Both lakes have an Island and both wear the signs of being over camped. Today however not another soul is present. I know that in the summer months both of these lakes and the surrounding area are packed with people because this is a relatively easy place to get to. I’m delighted to be enjoying it in the off season where my soles are the only ones smacking along the trail.
I decide to head for and make camp at Seville Lake a few miles down the trail and 1,000 feet lower in elevation. The hike from the trail junction to the lake is pleasant. Pleasant seems to be my word of choice for this trip. The trail is easy to walk on, the fall colors are beginning to show, and the views of the Great Western Divide and peaks beyond are phenomenial. I arrive at Seville Lake, another over camped area, just as the clouds blanket the sky. It is amazing how quickly the sky turns from blue to cloudy, dense, dark and ominous looking. I go about my camp chores; getting water, setting up the tent, gathering wood and making dinner with a cautious eye on the sky. The temperature is plunging. I am wearing all my clothes. I add a cup of chicken noodle soup to my dinner menu and enjoy it in front of the fire.
Shortly after I snuggle down into my sleeping bag it begins to rain. I’m aware of feeling incredibly hungry and contemplate going outside, opening the bear canister and getting a power bar. As I’m thinking about how delicious this will taste I drift off into what will be a fitful sleep for the next 10 hours.