Happy Valley was great, lovely campsite, the night was fairly warm, and we had no bear attacks. What more could you ask for? Well, okay, the only problem was that there really wasn't any water. We had prepared for this, carrying quite a bit of water up to the site, but I don't think we quite anticipated exactly how much everyone would need to drink. So on Tuesday morning we trekked down (away from our night's destination) to a gully that had some pools of water and filled up everything we had, but only after each drinking about 2 liters of water. (I'm not kidding. We all cheered when Caroline was the first to announce that she had to pee.)
First use of my MSR HyperFlow microfilter and it worked like a charm. Much tastier than using iodine. Unfortunately, I didn't read the part about doing the reverse flow cleaning every *8 liters*, so I didn't do one until Wed, by which time it was pretty clogged. Probably a bit too late to preserve the hypersuperfast filtering rate. Bummer. I guess it's not the most convenient thing for a group of 5 needing to filter 20+ liters at a time.
We made our way North along Heartbreak Ridge. The plan was to spend the night at the historic Manning Camp, dropping packs there to hit Mica Mtn (highest peak in the Rincons). I could tell everyone was dragging and I could sense a mutiny building. (See, they all went on strike:
So... we stopped for lunch and I proposed modifying the route every so slightly to spend the night at Spud Rock instead - saving us ~1000 ft of climb and ~1 mile today, ~1000 feet of descent and ~2 miles tomorrow. It was a unanimous decision, and clearly I was the only one who felt any disappoint whatsoever in deciding to skip Mica. Some other time, I guess.
Spud Rock was lovely and, most importantly, the spring there was flowing. Sort of. There was plenty of water, at least. We spent a very relaxing evening at the campground. Oh yeah, and the weather was perfect again, no bear attacks either.
We even let the boys cook: