Our concern today is questionable water sources. It seems that Spooner lake will be the only sure bet for water, and it’s a ways off the trail. We start up Snow Valley peak with plenty of water from the campground well.
On the way to Spooner summit we meet a veteran hiker named Fashionplate Dan. He has many tales, one of which encourages us to skip the lake water at Spooner pass and hunt for a spring where he got water higher in the mountains in upper Water Canyon.
Following Dan’s instructions, we tromp into thickets of aspen and willow. Truth be told, we go downward earlier than he told us to when Ann “smells water”. This leads us to some mud, much bushwhacking, and eventually into a comfy spring area with big piles of fresh bear scat, grub digging holes, and matted grass beds. There is some surface water, but we decide to leave the bear beds and look further down. Eventually we find a pool where an hour of scooping, filtering, and sterilizing supplies us with the water we need.
Much relieved we enjoy our dinner and make our way to a glorious camp and sunset view on Camp Peak.
Only later do we learn that a mountain lion is known to live on this peak.