Amazing sunrise, so good to be dry and happy. Spruce Lake will always be remembered as an incredibly beautiful and therapuetic location. The lean-to was really cool. It was weathered and warped with the lots of graffiti about epic trout with dates going back to the 60's. The view that it framed would be at home on an Adirondack post card or advertisement.
Early on it was apparent that I was hurting and tired. The miles seemed to go a bit slower. Sat down for a while on my pack and had the 'why am I doing this?' feeling for the first time on the hike.
There were a good amount of red efts on the trail. West Canada Lake's Wilderness is not overrated by the guide book. It's beautiful and still and the weather gave us it's best (thankfully on such a difficult day). Lots of green and blue to keep one foot going in front of the other.
Saw a number of backpacking pairs on this section, no singles, groups or day hikers. Met a dog or two which is always a good time. At the end of my energy and joy reserves we reached the Beaver Pond lean-to. Saved again!!!!!
From my journal: "Lean-to at Beaver Pond intersection is perfect. Too tired to write more now, maybe later?"
This place is incredible. The view was nearly as good as from Spruce Lake but the lean-to is the real hero here. Big and new and perfectly kept up. Maintained with a great deal of love and respect. It could proably sleep an entire troop of boy scouts. The fire pit was substantial and a number of large quartz boulders were used. This place looked like a great weekend excursion with lots of little trails around the lake and pond.
After laying down for a bit and eating not one but two backpacker meals for dinner I had a new lease on life and took an evening walk around the lake shore and took some pictures of this beautiful setting. Tried to get some shots of the loon that was living in the bay but it was a bit far off and came out blurry.
I highly recomend the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff. We had it for the first time that night and it rocked my world. After eating Backpacker's Pantry meals for 3 nights straight, the rich creamyness of the gravy and the big chunks of beef almost made me weep with joy. I do still recomend the Backpacker's Pantry meals (especially Katmandu Curry) as they are chock full of nutrition and fiber, but you can get pretty sick of endless variations of brown rice and beans after a while and just want some (freeze dried) home cookin'.
As Tom discusses in Nptrail.org, the section from Spruce Lake to Beaver Pond is in pretty bad shape with large section inundated with mud and water from beaver activity. Despite the muddy boots, the trail was still fairly easy to follow.
Day 4: 10 and change. Total: 42