MIKE MacFERRIN'S OLYMPIC SOLO TREK....August 3, 2004

Rain this morning. The entire area is socked in with fog... I cannot even make out Mt. Pulitzer except through occasional breaks in the clouds. So I'll wait it out here, drinking tea under my tarp and writing in my journal.

By 10:30 I've waited long enough, and although the clouds haven't cleared, I begrudgingly pack the wet tarp and continue on my way up & over the flanks of Mount Pulitzer. I pass several other parties today, mostly climbers and peak-baggers on their way to this summit or that. As I pass the many beautiful lakes & tarns below Mts. Pulitzer & Ferry, the rain settles in for good, and before long, despite my raingear, I'm quite soaked. If the weather were better, I'm sure I'd take many pictures of the idyllic scenes here. But right now, I neither have the patience nor the inclination to pull out my camera in the incessant showers. Navigating my way down from the ridge to Cream Lake, I've obviously lost the trail, because before long I'm bushwhacking through a ridiculously steep (and wet) forest. It's useless to go back and look for it... no trail is marked on the map, and in this weather, I could only search like a blind man with a stick. Impatiently, I plow forward down the steep slope (damn the torpedoes!), eventually making my way down to the soggy basin, accompanied by the "squish-squash" of my waterlogged boots.

In sunny weather, I'm sure Cream Lake is a beautiful place to stay, but right now I'm in a foul mood, hunched under my tarp in the incessant rain. My wet hiking clothes sit in a pile under the corner of my tarp. Damp, dust-fine lakeshore sand sticks to everything in sight, and it's not long before I give up trying to keep the gray dust off my gear. "It'll come off easily once I dry out" I assure myself, so why fight it. I abhor changing into wet clothes first thing in the morning, so I optimistically hope for sunshine tomorrow, falling asleep to the "pitter-patter" rain on the tarp.