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Brrrrrrrr! It was 38 degrees at the Fifteenmile Forest Camp on the northern edge of the 44-square mile Badger Creek Wilderness. At least it looked as if the sun would burn through the clouds.
The Trail steeply followed Fret Creek into an upper basin, reaching Oval Lake in two miles. This is a very pretty, small lake sitting underneath the cliffs forming the headwall between the Fifteenmile Creek Basin to the north and the Badger Creek Basin to the south.
Soon I met the Divide Trail and began heading west. At 6,000 feet I was clearly in an alpine environment with meadows, a few late wildflowers and short alpine trees (mainly hemlock, but also whitebark pine, alpine fir and a few alpine spruce.)
Another pleasant mile and I was on top of 6,525-foot Lookout Mountain, the highest peak remaining of the old Cascade mountains, all much older than Mt. Hood. Speaking of Mt. Hood, it was sparkling at its late summer best. The appearance of the stratovolcano kept changing as the sun and clouds slowly moved across the sky. Truly a wonderful show.
Breaking out a snack, I was soon joined by several hungry golden-mantled ground squirrels.
A very nice day indeed.