Oh God, It Looks Like Daniel ~ Peggy’s Pond, Mt.Daniel and Around to Hyas, August 2019

“It must be the clouds in my eyes.” ~ Elton John

Peggy’s Pond , Mt. Daniel

Peggy’s Pond sounds modest but as she sits above the Deep-est of Lakes, surrounded by Craggy Rocks of Holy proportions – we found her to be a pocket full of treasures.  The theme of our summer has definitely been to wander whenever a window of opportunity reveals itself.  Mikey was gone for the week prior, with work, and we had our big anniversary trip looming just days away – but we also had an open Saturday and some decent weather.  So, we did what do best and took to the wild for another epic one-nighter.

F42E650D-BB09-4665-B200-47E45E1C7AA1
As all of our epic one-nighters begin – we rose before the sun and hit the trail at Tucquala Meadows by 7 a.m. But, even at the break of day the lots here were overflowing with adventurers. The Hyas Trail 1376 and the Cathedral Trail 1345 both begin here and each opens up to a plethora of desirable destinations.
F8576850-CF16-4AB5-B7D5-87B5AFC75EC4
We’ve been to many places via these trail heads but this time we took to the Cathedral Rock Trail 1345 and headed towards something new to us ~ little nugget deemed Peggy’s Pond.
E290BB5F-DADE-45F7-8382-DC1CDA08CA10
In just under five miles we climbed a modest 2000 feet through the lush forest.
02DE0A46-25E9-4A61-9819-6E05302B5B4B
Passing a tranquil Squaw Lake along the way.
A979880C-EDFE-487E-A065-ECBE3CB59D50
And catching pretty peek-a-boo views as well.
723BE991-C0C9-484A-BF16-5B63C14AA5D6
Until that holy slab of rock loomed off in the distance.  Cathedral Rock.
17D8AF8B-C1A1-4ABD-8AAD-40CC56D69625
Other pretty puddles tempted us with their shimmering reflections.
BF6B6F6C-CC9D-44D5-A541-6CD4B72CA037
But, we pushed on towards Peggy’s Pond.
F61BCD2B-15CE-4C74-B4F3-5743C42E9160
We made sure to hug right along the walls of the Cathedral instead of dropping down to Deep Lake.
79D76E90-8BD7-4E49-AE7B-5835B89B5E14
And hug we did.
819D96A2-E94C-4C46-854D-E52358CD1ED1
This portion of the trail was a little rugged and rocky and droppy.
96CDC8D9-04CC-4C08-90F4-ECBABE666701
We passed a sweet lady along the way that told us we’d first meet up with a pond that was not as popular as Peggy, but if we ventured off the path a bit we’d find a bluff that looked off into the distance and the deep.

 

 

06451377-D244-4369-A2E3-8FE62E045F84
And that’s where we found this sweet spot.
3A737385-BE84-4671-BAFD-8BFA93297CE1
Where we staked down for the night.
BE6D52CE-5182-4FB7-A545-B68721FB8544
And then we ventured up to pay Peggy a visit.
AE0A6D1F-AB65-4794-B4A0-897A724736E4
By mid-morning Peggy’s popularity had only drawn one tent that we could see.  We paused just above her divine resting place and had a lunch date, with wild blueberries as our side, hoping the clouds weighing down upon Mt Daniel would rise with the breeze flitting its flanks.
3DD30748-FB98-4207-AD79-E1549550B736
And then we ventured on up with our high hopes, passing this epic little spot along the way.  It was ‘dry’ but the views deemed it a  penthouse suite.
6139475F-3968-43DA-999F-E6091C33D1E7
I was drawn to the remnants of a once pretty pine marking its place.  It’s skin was a cracked and creviced masterpiece of memories.  Much like my own:)
FFA76066-7CE1-4DF8-8692-C2D88CD05DA6
We knew the climb to Daniel was perhaps a bit beyond our reach.  WTA claims it should be reserved for only the ‘experience mountaineer’. But we grasped for it’s nebulous cap all the same.

 

D5DEA5EA-83D2-4005-B539-0AD3389CFA80
Towering cairns showed us the way.

 

C589999B-0213-4469-A08A-9F65B768AA37
And vibrant wild flora reminded us of our resilience.
F8B55FED-4878-4D53-BE51-724B73E92194
Soon we were looking down on the not very circle-y gem-like Circle Lake.
8D4309B7-0D74-41E0-B0CB-479B681588A1
And a wondrous webbed glacier.
A7299FD6-93C1-478C-89B0-AD41C435483B
As we continued to climb we kept telling ourselves we’d stop when it didn’t seem safe.
942DCF44-27B5-40F8-92F1-1D032E7E0315
And then just about when we could spy the ambiguous Spade, the trail climbed a rock we could imagine slipping off.

 

9B1C9302-F0C0-4A5A-AB4A-4D5446B45978
So, we took a seat and called it good.                                                                                                   Thankful for the sublime views and the absence of clouds in our eyes:)                                                                                                                                                              When you are out here, in the rugged wild, its easy to get caught up in the adventure and forget yourself.  And your mortality. Its good to reach for great heights.  But, its also good to know your limits.

 

 

07606E7F-2C69-435A-9CA3-EDB11D18FBED
We soaked in all the goodness we could in one sitting and then we ventured back down the way we came.
30320BF6-1E1E-47CA-A907-C563B9EEE5C4
Along Daniel’s rocky outstretched ridgeline arm.
33E99522-9CA3-48C9-A92B-DC070739ED2C
Towards Peggy’s pretty little nesting place.
44C27399-80E0-42A1-857E-41C3ED8C87D5
And the modest little plash that lead us back…

 

833F3CBD-85F1-4DE7-A7B6-9E195B966016
To our provisional perch above Deep Lake..
24902BBC-9958-48AA-92DF-FCD899948741
Where we boiled up some water.
FDBB7800-4845-4B05-90E6-5A60A20C83A5
For a pre-dinner brew, and high hopes.
1F712B32-E866-4595-9267-1B689AF11A10
Of a splendid sunset and a starry night sky.
C3FEA1F6-184D-4C8A-B43E-C2623FE10FF4
Dinner was all I hoped it would be:)
1DAFBA6F-8509-476E-8BF8-526C915F01AB
But, that sunset and that starry sky eluded us. Instead, the day just faded into grey.                          But the company sure was great.
94DFD30A-DF93-45C6-9A57-74C740376C4B
By sunrise the opaque sky still held strong, only intermittently opening up tiny little pockets of pink.
B120FCC7-7D83-4671-9094-E7FCFD3DF138
We’ve grown fond of long walks, no matter the weather, so we mapped out a longer little jaunt back to the car.
77076E03-7E72-4D33-8B35-11445FE2062A
Packed up camp.
83A8A045-7BD7-491C-9CF7-04E59EBF4753
Leaving it a little better than we found it.
3406F501-2946-4752-B0E2-81E86CC5CB9C
And headed on our way.

 

 

5859259A-C8FD-4757-9C21-E6A2DF0D1B6D
Out of Peggy’s Pond’s Pond:)
E75F2BA2-DC5F-43FB-A2C4-522BD17A35D1
Back to this little junction.
33B46FFB-717E-49B6-AF30-914AD94F7FC4
Then, instead of heading South back on 1345, we hitched a ride on the PCT, heading north, taking the long way home.

 

 

51E45916-2757-4029-95E9-6112B97CC79B
The trail dropped quickly and soon we were looking up at the walls of Peggy’s backyard.
927A6962-897C-4320-865A-77E77687B9A1
But, the nebulous continued to surround us, smoldering out any other views.

 

8409DECD-F968-44CA-88CE-D74032C98C14
There was a fun little fording.
B9F5BEE0-F788-4316-974C-A1FD801BC9F6
And every once in a while a single solitary sunbeam would break through the contumacious veil of vapors in the sky, and shine its light.
912D0570-9211-48B4-957B-69DEB0AC8E2D
At this junctions we jumped off the PCT and hugged right towards Hyas.
DDE031D8-B568-44E2-892C-3ACBAFC7D285
Just before the lake we had one last chance to sneak a peek at what looked like Daniel, but the clouds were still in our eyes.
516A7F2F-F4DE-43E8-84FC-1D1720CD6DF4
So, with the lofty realms all hidden from view, Hyas got the last of our beholden affections.              For, as always, cloudy skies or not – we left the dirt path better than we came.

 

 

We are not guaranteed anything in this life.  We always hope for blues skies, mountain tops, sunsets and starry nights.  But, no matter the weather, beauty remains.  When the heavens close up a bit, they are only leaving room for other things to shine.

 

Mileage

Day 1 – Cathedral Rock Trailhead to Peggy’s Pond’s Pond Little Lookout:) ~ 5.5 miles

Day hike most of the way of Mount Daniel ~ 4.5 miles roundtrip

Day 2 – From Camp, Up the PCT and Around Hyas ~ 11.2 miles

Total Miles ~ 21.2

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s