PCT 2019: Day 102, Brahma Lake to Lower Rosary Lake

I was in the pulpit, I'm jumpin' up and down

Today's hike continued past more lakes and ponds before ending at another lake. This was much like yesterday's trail section, including the easy elevation changes.

Because of the trail's gentle profile, this would have been a good opportunity to pick up a few extra miles, but that wasn’t our goal right now. Blujay, Sunkist, and I still didn't want to hike too far too fast because we wanted to give Dave a chance to catch up to us.

DateSaturday, August 17, 2019
WeatherOvercast early, becoming sunny with a high temperature near 70
Trail ConditionsSmooth and easy, except for one steeper section of the last climb and descent
Today's Miles22.2
Trip Miles1478.6

We set our sights on Lower Rosary Lake, with hopes that Dave will reach us by tomorrow when we get to Shelter Cove Resort. We plan to stop there to pick up resupply boxes.

I left camp at 6:30 a.m, which as usual was about a half hour after Sunkist and Bluejay departed.

The morning started a little gloomy, but that didn’t last long. The misty, overcast sky quickly became sunny and warm.

We camped last night a short distance beyond a burnt section of forest. Now the trail traveled through it.

This wasn't a lifeless area, however. Dead trees were already being replaced by green spruce trees.

The trail was so easy that I was surprised when I stopped for a brief break at 10:30 and discovered I had already hiked ten miles.

With so many lakes on the trail, a large cache of water I found seemed a little unnecessary. Still, it was a nice gesture offered by trail angels.

By the time I stopped for lunch at 12:45 p.m., I had completed 15.6 miles. With under seven miles to our chosen campsite, I knew I wouldn’t need to press hard to get there.

Finally, in the afternoon, the trail began to make two bigger climbs and descents. The first was a modest 900-foot climb spread over 3.8 miles.

The elevation gain was soon lost on the descent that followed, but the trail then made another climb that was only slightly steeper.

On the way up the second climb, I decided to take a slight detour to check out Maiden Peak Shelter.

Despite its name, the shelter was nothing like an Appalachian Trail shelter. It was a fully-enclosed cabin that was large enough to sleep at least 15 people. A cross-country ski club maintained it.

This might have been a nice place to stay for the night, but there was no water nearby.

At the top of the climb, I could see Lower Rosary Lake, which is where I was heading. The other lakes in the Rosary chain were also in view, but a large rock outcropping was most eye-catching.

This pillar was called The Pulpit. It jutted from the ridge I had been climbing.

As I paused at the top to enjoy the view, I checked my phone and saw there was some cell reception here. Unfortunately, the signal wasn’t good enough to send a text message to Kim, so I continued hiking as the trail began descending from the ridgetop.

The three lakes and a small pond of the Rosary were located below The Pulpit. The largest of these was the last one, Lower Rosary Lake. I arrived there at 4:30 p.m. and began looking for Bluejay and Sunkist.

I found them sitting near the water, enjoying the late-afternoon sun and the view.

Getting to the campsite so early allowed plenty of time to set up camp, filter water, and prepare dinner.

Yellowjackets tried to ruin my evening, though. They continuously hovered while I ate my dinner. I managed to avoid being stung, but they were annoying.

Later, after I crawled into my tent, I could hear one of the yellowjackets circling outside. It did that for 20 minutes before finally giving up on thoughts of getting inside.

I was in the pulpit
I'm jumpin' up and down
I was in the pulpit
I'm jumpin' up and down
My sisters in the corner
They're hollerin' Alabama bound
You know, I grabbed up my suitcase 
And I took off down the road
Grabbed up my suitcase 
And I took off down the road
I said, "Farewell my church, 
May the good Lord bless your soul"

From "Preachin' the Blues" by Edward James "Son" House Jr.


"Nothing to tell now. Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine."ref.