Started at 9AM... good breakfast of granola (Doug). Uphill at moderate angle out of Devil's Dream (5000 ft.) to nice meadows to Indian Henry's (5500 ft.) First great views of the mountain. Tons of wild flowers and a historic cabin. Descended to a sucker's side trip... Mirror Lake. Seven-tenths of a mile each way to a small pond! Returned to the trail and descended to Tahoma Creek (4200 ft.) The longest (253') and highest (100') suspension bridge in the park. The two 6-dayer's pass us (we had passed them a bit earlier). The bridge is fun. Ascended to Emerald Ridge... a long haul to 5500 feet... but great views of Tahoma Glaciers. Descended to our camp at 4000 feet -- S. Puyallup. The six dayers stop here too -- their first night. Big dinners, cheese finished. Good camp with tables, no toilet (was supposed to be.) Bugs are medium but constant. Aaron getting bitten less.
Aaron's commentary: In the morning we talked briefly with two middle aged women who were doing the whole trail but taking their time about it - we were impressed by them being out there and they were very nice. They also had a 'tame' deer wandering through their camp which they barely took any notice of as it was so quiet and relaxed. Indian Henry's was very nice. Mirror Lake was a waste - at least I didn't carry my pack on the side tour ;).
We were very impressed with the two six-dayers. Nobody else we met planned to do the trip in less than 8 days and most were taking 10+ like us. These two guys were very fast - amazingly, though, they stopped at lunch to pull out their stoves and cook a hot meal.
The journal doesn't mention people too much. It should. It is not true that
all sorts of people hike the Wonderland Trail. Only the adventurous ones do --
those with a heathly spirit. This we all had in common. Some came for a
primal athletic challenge. Some came for the loftiness of contemplation and
nature's beauty. Some came merely for fun. We saw both extremes today and we
ourselves fall in the middle of them. Of course, to simplify ourselves or
others in such a way is unfair. We met all sorts of complex people of
differing skills and goals. Getting to know these good people is something I
did not do enough of.
Traditionally the second day is very tough, but this one wasn't. I think Aaron and I had planned things correctly to go easy on days one and two. The guide book lays things out that way too with the major mileage comming at the end of the loop. At this point we were still unsure about how we would do.