This morning, Purple Lake seemed to live up to its name. In the mist, it was a lovely violet. Immediately upon leaving the lake, we started to climb, up past a big rock glacier (there’s ice under there somewhere!) and into the high country.
Beautiful Silver Pass Creek! I got naked and rinsed the dust and sweat from my body and am now feeling like an ad for Smartwool, with clean socks and long underwear. The water isn’t so cold here, as it travels at a moderate pace over exposed granite all the way from Silver Pass Lake. Lots of time for the sun to warm it up a bit. All my clothes are rinsed out, too, and lying on rocks in the sun (with little rocks to hold them down in the light breeze).
A good long hike today, almost 13 miles from Purple Lake and up and over Silver Pass (elevation: 10,900’). The clouds of yesterday are mostly gone and the sky is beautiful. Most of the uphill was through fir and lodgepole pine forests, which made for a more pleasant ascent (shade was plentiful). No altitude problems. I love the high country!
Thus ends my journal entry for Day 9. Not much verbiage, so I thought I’d talk about what we have been eating on the trail. Betty was the mastermind behind it, and generally (except for the salmon), everything has been great. For breakfast, I settled in to mostly having plain instant oatmeal with freeze-dried bananas and apples. It’s easy, like all our hot food: just add hot water. I also have a nice cup of Earl Grey tea with Nido milk powder and a teeny bit of sugar (at home, I’d opt for honey, but that’s too heavy to carry).
I already talked about lunch in another post, I think, so we’ll move on to dinner. For this meal, we could choose a base of brown rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Then we would pair it with either some sort of beans (black or pinto), tofu cubes, very occasionally (once/week) some fish for me, or lentils. To this we would add our choice of dried vegetables: squash, seaweed, daikon radish, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and a few other things I can’t recall right now. Then came the seasoning choices: lemon or lime, coconut milk and curry paste, various hot sauces, miso soup, olive oil infused with garlic. Twice, we made a delicious chili with beans and mashed potatoes and a premixed seasoning. We would put all these ingredients together in a ziplock bag, pour hot water in, and let it “cook” in a homemade cozy made of Reflectix and tape. Then generally, we just ate the dinner out of the bag, and added the used bags to our trash. Very simple and effective. I tended to not eat very large portions at the end of the day. I just didn’t feel like it by then. But I never felt deprived or went to bed hungry.
During the day, we also had little bags of snacks, our favorite by far of which were the dried fruit combo of figs and mangos (we called these “wet fruit,” to differentiate from the freeze-dried fruit I ate for breakfast). Every day we each got a Nature Valley granola bar, generally with dark chocolate, and a small bag of mixed nuts and cacao nibs. These were easy to munch on as we hiked. And every other day, we got a treat of a fig bar! Almost everything was organic. Good work, Betty!