Under way by 8:00 AM, we squished and squashed our way along the wet lake shore toward the trail back to Sunshine Village. This would be a 6 k walk today and should be relatively simple, except for:
- the hill out of Howard Douglas – we had scouted this last night and brushed it off as a short inclined section. Wrong!
- the fact that my pack straps had come out of adjustment to the point where most of the weight was now on my shoulders and the chest strap was making it difficult to inhale fully. Looking down, I saw may camera case dropping to my knees, as the hip strap loosened. I immediately figured out my problem. Case removed and straps readjusted, case replaced, we moved on. Breathing was a bit easier, but the hill still persisted.
At last, we reached the summit, pausing for photos with the misty valley below us. This was not likely morning dew, more likely clouds of our energetic effort sweat. Sorry for the visual.
The trail was now fairly easy with slight uphills and flat sections, before the long descent into the village. Ahead of us, M spotted movement and pointed out the 3 Grizzlies ambling across the meadow some 100 m ahead. The wind was blowing in our faces, so they could not smell us. This in itself was a miracle, given the absence of showers for 4 days. If they had smelled us, I am sure they would have moved off faster. The Grizzly pix will be in my post on wildlife.
Up ahead, we passed the bear dig site we noticed on our way in.
The meadow opened up and we could soon easily spot the tops of the ski hill chair lifts. We were definitely flying along. Alas, our progress had been too fast. We were going to arrive long before the 11 AM opening time of the pub that would have given us our first beer in 4 days. There went that celebration.
The views were startling. We were going to miss them.