14 January 2016

Around the Sioux Hustler Trail: Into the unknown

The following is a continuation of the log from the Sioux Hustler Loop hiking trip I took in October 2012. In this entry  3 Names and I leave the Devil's Cascade campsite and head into the mostly unkept portions of the trail in the north and east of the loop. This post is long over due.

a dry Devil's Cascade
 We awoke to a much brighter day after the damp hike mostly in the dark up to the campsite above Devil's Cascade. It had quite a splendid view into the valley below. The weather appeared to be in our favor. We took breakfast and packed up and continued up the trail until the beaver ponds. That is where we lost the trail in the mishmash of tall marsh grasses. We stopped for lunch at the end of small trail that lead to another pond.
Nothing really amazing about that section. The trail was still plenty worn and looked like your typical BWCA marsh clearings with steep pine tree hills. Pleasant but nothing remarkable. A lot of the BWCA scenery just blurs together for me.
Not much later we cross Heritage Creek. It was a very pleasant place to stop and refill our water. After a short rest we get back up and hike. It is in this area where it gets a little steep and the path is just little bit harder to discern. However, we knew we were on the right track when we made it to the Pageant Lake campsite. We left our packs and hiked down the hill to admire the small campsite on this marvelously still lake.
My memories must have faded because I do not recollect much of the the next segment. All I remember is the path to the Range Lake campsite is quite long, but it is marked- but not sure if it was a cairn or some old scrap metal. I do recall that there were plenty of downed trees to navigate around or under.
Our next landmark was the 3 Sentinels- 3 enormous white pines right in the path. I kept looking and looking for tall trees because I was eager to make camp and get my pack off.  There were many imposters. However, when we do get to the Sentinels, 1 had been topped. Or at least I think it was one of the sentinels.

3 Names standing among the Sentinels
In the photo you can hardly make out 3 Names. But he is there in the bottom middle holding up the map.
The trail improved slightly through this area- or so I imagine it did because I noted nothing about it. But I can assure you there were still plenty of dead or felled trees to circumnavigate. Can't avoid those. 
We made camp on the north side of Emerald Lake and not much of importance happened. The campsite is at the bottom of a steep incline. There are a few mostly flat places to pitch a tent. Closer to the lake there are more small rock outcrops.
  

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