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Devils Dream to South Puyallup (Aug 4, 2000):

  We awake from a refreshing sleep and start our day early.  The weather is great, not a cloud in the sky.  The 9 day'ers are already gone, they were pushing on to Klapatche Park Camp.  We quickly broke camp and ate our first meal of Granola for the trip, a breakfast food which we will grow weary of.  It was a tactical decision to pick granola as our breakfast food for the whole trip.  Breakfast is, of course, the most important meal of the day while hiking, and Granola is super packed with calories and complex carbohydrates.  We allowed 1/2 pound each per day.

The first major scenic area for the day was only 5 minutes out of camp at Squaw Lake, pictured to the right.  About another mile hike and we are in Indian Henrys Hunting Grounds.  Indian Henrys is a mountain meadow, it was named by P.B Van Trump for a Cowlitz Indian named Satulick, whom white men nicknamed "Indian Henry".  The oldest ranger cabin in the park, built in 1915, is located in the meadow with a picturesque view of Rainier right at it's back door.  Because the cabin is still in use, a lucky ranger gets to be stationed at the cabin, and live there.  The cabin is pictured below to the left.
 

  From Indian Henrys you quickly descend to Tahoma Creek, where the largest footbridge in the park exists, The Tahoma Creek suspension bridge. You will either love or hate crossing the bridge. It depends on how afraid of heights you are. The bridge is only wide enough for one person to cross at a time and there is a 120 foot drop to the canyon floor below. In winter they take the floor-boards off the bridge to prevent damage from the weight of snow. But this doesn't stop hearty winter travelers from crossing it. They use harnesses and carabiners and clamp themselves to the wire handrail and supports while slowly inching across the bridge.

 The ascent to Emerald Ridge was harder than we thought.  The last mile or so has no tree cover, which allowed the sun to bake us.  The good part about having no tree cover is that the view was incredible.  The lower Tahoma Glacier, Glacier Island, and parts of South Tahoma Glacier were visible.  Just before the final ascent we took a rest in the glacier valley pictured to the right.  We were just getting to the snow line.  The air was incredibly sweet smelling from the alpine wildflowers.  We ended up sitting/laying there for over an 30 minutes before we decided that we better get going.  Taking a really long break while hiking causes your muscles to stiffen up and body to cool down too much, as we found out later.
 



Pictures:

 Meadow near Squaw lake

 The Tahoma Bridge

 Looking down from the middle of the Tahoma Bridge, Imagine crossing in winter without the floorboards !

 Jason crossing, with Tahoma glacier in the background.

 Tahoma Glacier
 

 Approach to Emerald Ridge.

 Top of Emerald Ridge

 Rusty Iron on the footing of Tahoma Glacier (From the top of Emerald Ridge)

 Flower Meadow at Emerald Ridge

 Flower Meadow at Emerald Ridge

 The highest point at Emerald Ridge - Looking down at the trail and our backpacks.

 South Puyallup Campgrounds

South Puyallup GPS Coordinates:

Datum: WGS84
Lat:  46  48' 47" N
Lon: 121 51' 52" W
Altitude: 4179ft
   

 

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