Lake Hike

My family and I went for a hike in the middle of the week to a lake a couple of hours away from our house.  I woke everyone else up at five in the morning, and was ready to head out the door by six with backpack packed, extra clothes in the truck, cooler filled with goodies to make sandwiches, and breakfast sitting in my stomach.
We got out of the house about an hour later, though, because we didn’t actually know where we were going until then.  We are so good at planning ahead, you see.
The road trip there was great, but I’ll just jump straight to the part where we got to where we were going.  I took 85 photos that day.  Well, I actually took over 200 photos but 85 was what I was left with after editing and weeding out blurry duplicates.  I can’t show you all of those photos ( as much as I would like to ), but I’ll give you a good 15 of them to show you what our hike was like.
We came across a field just before we got to the beginning of the trail.  We stopped to take a look at it because we had seen some birds flying around that we wanted to get some pictures of.  Naturally, as soon we stood outside the truck, waiting for them to land somewhere, they decided they were going to be stubborn and hop around in the grasses where we couldn’t see them any more.
The field was still beautiful to see though, and the flowers growing around it in random sprigs where so pretty.
Do you see the bee in the middle of this flower?  I didn’t even notice he was there until I edited the photo!
We drove up the rest of the road and made it to the head of the trail.  It’s almost a mile hike in just to get to the lake itself, and it’s a steep mile.  From the top of the trail to where the lake is is about a 300 foot change in elevation.  It’s rocky and winding all the way down, but not so hard if you’re used to hiking.  If you were careful, you could hop from rock to rock on the way down and feel like a mountain goat, an expert at traversing the mountain landscape.
Speaking of the mountains, they were looking their absolute best that day.  The skies were clear and wonderfully blue all day long, the trees fresh and green, the rock white and rugged.  What more could you ask for?
It was a great sense of achievement to finally see the lake nestled down in-between the mountains.  We had a choice to go either left or right to start walking around it.  We decided to go left to start.
It was beautiful looking across the lake, seeing how clear and clean it was, and how blue.  The reflections on the water were almost perfect.  If the lake had been still, it would have been like looking into a mirror.
When we got around to the south side of the lake, we found that there was still snow tucked away back there.  Piles and piles of it covered the slopes, creating fun areas to slide down.  Feet spread, arms out, and with a running start, we slid down them, posed like a surfer riding the waves.  And then we got back up and did it again.
Once we got back to hiking though, these slippery slopes became a difficulty.  You had to dig your feet into the snow to be able to walk on it without falling, and even that didn’t work at times.  I almost slid sideways into a creek.  My sister managed to actually slide into a tree.
I fell over far too many times, pinwheeling and digging at the snow to try and stop myself from sliding too far.  At one point my feet went right out from under me and I fell straight onto my back, sliding all the way down a little hill.  The impact was so hard that my water bottle came out of my backpack.  Instead of coming down to help me up, my mother first thought to stop and take a picture of me sprawled out on the ground where I finally came to a stop.  Such love and concern, I tell you.
When we got out of the snow and were on the west side of the lake, we found a waterfall.  It was gorgeous, and it sounded even better.
We had to hike across it, at a part where the water spilled over some rocks and was only an inch or so deep.
Then it was back up, coming around to the point where we split off and went left at first.  We had gone all the way around the lake, but now it was time to tell it goodbye.
Even though we were hiking the same trail up as we had going down, the view looked at bit different seeing it from a different angle.  It was wonderful to look between the trees and across the mountain we were on to see other mountain ranges hanging in the distance.
Going back up was obviously much harder than going down.  Where as coming down the only time we had stopped was to snap tons of photos, going up we had to stop to drink some water and take a breath or two.  Like I said before, the trail was rocky, steep, and not always clear.
It was fun though, and so great to make it back to the truck and have that feeling of “I did it!”.  Down, around, and back up again made for a three mile hike altogether.  It was great.
We made some sandwiches and ate some candy bars and graham crackers, then piled in the truck to start heading back home.  As we were driving out though, we saw a little turn off to our left that we hadn’t looked at before.  So we decided to make a quick detour and see what it was.
I’m so very glad we did go look at it.  It came to a flat area in the mountains behind one of the peaks.  In the dirt there we saw groundhog tunnels, the dirt pushed up where they had been digging underground.
We decided to climb up over that final peak to see what there was to see.  We found snow, which we used to make little snowmen.  This really cracked me up for some reason.  Snowmen, in the middle of June.  Who would have thought?
We found lots of flowers growing on the sides of the rocks.
But the best part of all was the view.  The air was so clear that you could see for miles.  The whole forest was spread out before us, the nearest town little dots in the valley, and way out on the distant horizon, the tips of a named mountain range we knew for certain was an hour drive away from where we were standing.
Perfect.  Just, perfect.
I worked on editing my photos on the ride home, and had every intention of creating this post that very afternoon, but I ended up being too tired.  I didn’t do much else that day except lay around like a blob.  I was a very happy blob, though.  I don’t think a day can get much better than that one was.

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