Thursday, April 30, 2015

Two Lake Sunday

As I picked up J. and headed up the Middle Fork, I felt slightly anxious.  I hadn't hiked with her before, and I knew she was a long distance hiker, having hiked a lot of the Appalachian Trail, most of the PCT, and part of the Arizona Trail.  I felt responsible for picking a good trail, but it's a challenging time of year for hikers: it feels like summer in the valley, but up in the mountains there's still five feet of snow.

I decided on Skiumah Lake, a trail I'd always vetoed for hiking alone because it seemed so "beary": brushy, narrow, and in a known grizzly area.  But I had bear spray and a hiking companion, and it was supposed to be near 60 degrees.  How bad could it be?

We hiked up the trail, intermittently yelling "hey bear," covering three and a half miles rapidly, only slowed down a few trees across the trail.  But we were complacent, because up ahead it lurked, where the trail was obliterated by snow and the fateful words were uttered "the lake must be right over there"...The Bushwhack.

I have no pictures of this brushy nightmare, because I was focused on the bruises I was acquiring from falling through the soft snow onto hidden stumps and logs, and the fact that every step of the way I expected a bear to pop up next to us.  However, the slightly hysterical laughing at how ridiculous we must look probably chased any self respecting bear into the next county.

Finally we made it to the lake.   It was worth it.
Looks pretty innocent from here.
I decided to take J. to a clearer trail next so she didn't think I always made such crazy decisions.  We hiked into Stanton Lake, always a winner.

Still, there's something about an arduous or unexpected adventure.  It makes the day even more memorable. 


  1. Two beautiful lakes. Hope your hiking companion was impressed with your big back yard! And no bears....

  2. Yep, sometimes the best hikes are the ones that don't quite go as planned. But they always generate good stories!

  3. I just realized you have a blog! Fabulous choice for a hike and a delight to hike with you!

    1. It was great! Let's do more hikes, if we can work out this darn day off thing.

    2. It was great! Let's do more hikes, if we can work out this darn day off thing.


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