dawned bright and clear, and stayed that way for nearly twenty minutes. Before breakfast was cooked, cumulus clouds were piling up, thanks to all the moisture on the ground. We dried our gear as best we could, packed up and moved on toward Crown Pass. We met another couple on their way out, and a train of horses with two men crossed our path on the way to Woodchuck Lake. We couldn't know it at the time, but at 9AM on day two we had just seen the last people we would see on the entire trip! Just before reaching the Crown Valley trail we came to a nice viewpoint that showed Crown Lake and some granite scenery below a broken-overcast sky. We reached Crown Pass within ten minutes, and the thunder began to growl within fifteen. Halfmoon Lake became our destination for the day, and Bill and Del raced ahead to beat the storm to a campsite. Frank and I kept to our pace and were rewarded with a full selection of weather - hail, wind and wind gusts played over thunderous percussion as we worked our way to the lake. We found the others at a nice spot, and I threw my rainfly over a fairly dry patch of ground to keep it from further wetting. The showers relented, and we celebrated with another roaring fire to dry our things and warm our spirits. Just before dinner another thundershower hit, and Bill guarded the fire with his umbrella until the heat drove him away; by then we had dried enough wood, and the wind from the storm actually improved the fire's circulation! ||
drying out at Halfmoon
I hate to say this in a public forum, but: Halfmoon Lake is a destination spot all by itself. A gorgeous gem at the base of an anonymous peak (Scepter Peak, named only on the 7½' map), it has lovely tall trees, at least one great campsite, and plenty of pan-size trout drifting along the shoreline in search of misplaced bugs. It was a very pretty spot, and having it to ourselves was surprising to me. Let's not all go there at once, though, OK?
reflections in Halfmoon Lake