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Red Meadow West

July 28 

Mile 72.7 - Mile 82.5

Whitefish Divide Trail

We spent the night before our trip at the Upper Whitefish lake campground. After convening with the rest of our group we began our trek at the intersection of NF 115 and NF 589. Heading west on 589, we road walked the first mile and a half to the Whitefish Trail #26 marker on our left. About two and a half miles later we reached our first peak of the day. As we climbed, Whitefish Mountain made a grand appearance to the south. Looking back at the pictures now, the views at the top of that first peak still take my breath away. We rollercoastered down and up 2 more peaks and felt more than ready to call it a day when we reached the Whale Lake junction. Water was in short supply this day, so after setting up camp, we made the mile and a half trek down and up to the lake to drink up and fill up the water bottles. After a quick dinner we took refuge from the mosquitoes in our tents before dark. We did a little planning for the next day and I drifted in and out of sleep during a very quiet night.


July 29
Mile 82.5 - Mile 93.1
Whitefish Divide Trail, Blue Sky Trail #74

Waking up to clear skies, a beautiful sunrise, and a hasty breakfast, we packed up and hit the trail, climbing once again to reach another peak. One more decent followed by one more steep ascent brought us to the top of Mount Locke. Making our way down the mountain, we travelled through the Gibralter Burn area making it difficult at times to locate the trail. A little less than mile from the top we found our next junction and turned west to follow the Blue Sky trail to our next camp site. Without going into too much detail here (more info will be included in the blog about this section) this next section, to date, was by far the most challenging. Shortly after joining Blue Sky trail we traversed  a mile long blowdown. When we reached the Blue Sky creek crossing we were bleeding, bruised and thirsty. Following the creek for the next six miles our trail was wide with a gradual down hill grade. We camped in a large open meadow next to FR114, where Blue Sky and Graves creek converge. Although none of our injuries were serious, there were enough of us with multiple open wounds that we made the decision to modify the rest of our trip. Before we began this trip we had arranged for a friend to meet us at this location to swap out clothes and food, and to prepare us delicious grilled burgers, potatoes and watermelon...which we thoroughly enjoyed!


July 30, 31
Zero Day,Dickey Lake Campground
Mile 93.1 - Mile 97.4 
Foundation Creek Trailhead, NF 319, NF 114

After assessing the previous day's injuries, we decided to take a day and recoup and regroup. We secured a site at Dickey Lake Campground and took advantage of the lake and rinsed off our deet and dirt covered, and bruised bodies. After a good meal and good night's rest we decided to do the short road walk from Foundation Creek TH to Blue Sky Creek TH, about 4.3 miles. Heading home later that day we all felt a conflicting sense of accomplishment and defeat.

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