CDT Day 73: Mile 2926.0 – 2950.3

(24.3 miles – 38.9 km)

Friday June 28, 2019

Two Medicines Campground – Dawson Pass – Petermakin Lake- Triple Divide Pass – Red Eagle Lake Campground

It was with a spring in our step that we left the campsite this morning. Sunrise was illuminating the cliff above Pray Lake which was near our campsite. It was going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day. Despite last nights rain, the trail side vegetation did not seem to hold much moisture and we managed to keep our feet dry for quite some time. The trail was well made and maintained, no mud bath here. What a joy. Very quickly we ascended out of the Two Medicines Valley and started on the gradual climb over Dawson Pas to Pitamakan Lake, rising 2,400 feet.

We passed Old Man Lake, part of a big glacial cirque. It was backed by a mountain eroded into a pyramid shape. It was so beautiful to be high on a mountainside on a clear blue sky morning, surrounded by stunning landscape in every direction. We stopped for breakfast halfway up the climb. It was wonderful to finally have good weather and breathaking scenery. It felt like an amazing reward for perseverance.

Once we got to the top of the pass the view over the two lakes in front of us was even more spectacular as the valley held a little bit more snow. We were told about this difficult snow traverse coming off the pass. The descent of Dawson Pass was not as bad as we were warned. The snow was firm and the really steep slopes at the start of the descent were clear of snow. We passed several southbound hikers, all seem to be in good spirit. How can you not be on such a beautiful day in this geological wonderland.

We stopped for lunch at Morningstar Lake. The sun was shining and it was nice to take off our wet shoes and dry out a bit.

We has another 14 miles and another pass, the Triple Divide Pass before we to make it to our campsite at Red Eagle Lake. The water off the Triple Divide flows into three water bodies: Hudson Bay, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

The ascent of this pass started as a gentle slope and it just kept winding up. The lake at the base of the pass down in the valley was a beautiful emerald green. We saw two hikers down in the valley walking towards the lake, from our vantage point they looked like ants.

Took us nearly 2 hours to climb over the pass. The descent thankfully didn’t have any snow on the steepest parts. It was just such a beautiful day, we felt like we could hike forever.

We made it to our to the campground around 7pm. There were quite a few people staying there. So nice to meet up with some hikers whom we had not seen since the desert.

After putting up the tent, and hanging up the food, we stayed around the communal cooking area for a chat with the other hikers. By 8.30pm rain arrived and temperature dropped. We made it just in time. It was a long hard day with such breathtaking scenery that we didn’t want it to the end.