We started out today early since we had a lot of uphill and we wanted to do it before it got too hot outside. The GPS weather was saying it would be in the 80s today and we wanted to avoid that.
We quickly packed up our gear before grabbing breakfast and heading out. The sun was out already, but the valley we were in was still cool and shaded by the mountains. We hiked along the beginning flat section before hitting our first of 3 uphills. We made quick work of the first uphill and then when we got to the beginning of the second we met a father and son. We chatted for a bit and encouraged them on the long (14+ mile) day they were working on.
Pressing on we conquered the second uphill. We took in the morning sun rising over a sleepy valley of lakes as we hiked up and up. The sun’s rays were shining over the rough ridges of the mountains and made for beautiful views. We had hiked down this trail on day 2, but we didn’t have the morning sun to see that day. Hitting the flat portion before the last uphill we were both a little weary, but we pressed on without stopping since we had planned a longer break once we got over Stoney Indian Pass and down along the lake.
We were soon at our stopping point and we took our packs off, rested, and ate some food. We were in direct sun so we didn’t stop for too long. Refueled and feeling much better with the uphill behind us, we set off into the valley. The hike down was uneventful and we came to the junction where we turned north to head to our campsite for the night. We hiked through some overgrowth and peaceful forests before arriving at our campsite: Kootani Lake.
It was still early in the afternoon so we rested for a bit before hanging out food and setting up our tent. Once everything was set up we waded down the nearby river to pass the time. The cold water felt good on our feet and we enjoyed looking at all the different rocks that had been washed here by heavier river flows. I like to imagine that some of these rocks used to be on the tops of mountains, but the weather has broken them loose and washed them down the river. How quickly a rock can lose its prominence as a ridge rock, contributing to majestic and awe-inspiring views, and become a lowly river rock that’s viewed along with all other river rocks and rarely ever singled out.
After we finished wading the river we returned to camp to hang out and pass the time before dinner. Just before dinner, another hiker showed up and we chatted with him before he headed out to set up his tent. We then made our dinner and filled our stomachs with delicious trail food.
After dinner, we started on our usual evening activities: setting up our sleeping bags, brushing our teeth, and a cool dip in the water for Logan. We watched the sun slide behind the nearby mountain, although the official sunset time isn’t for some time.
As we were finishing up at the water a group of 8 hikers arrived at camp. They were doing the northern traverse which is hiking across the northern portion of Glacier. We chatted for a bit before settling into our tent to read our book before falling asleep.
The pit toilet here was fantastic. No smell, no flies. Though no view. Apparently, others did not agree on the no smell, but I’m ok with not being able to smell it.