Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day Five--Cross Country Adventure and Finis!

Slightly less than a year later, I've reached the final day of photos!! This is a long post, but I decided to leave the whole day as one post. It is a pretty awesome day with a lot of variety and even though there are a lot of photos here, I was actually pretty restrained in my picture-taking.

The first three are morning pictures of our campsite. As you can see, if I were really ambitious, I would piece some of them together for a panorama, but you'll just have to imagine that part. It was a very serene and quiet setting. During the evening some deer kept trying to join us for dinner, which even though disney movies suggest otherwise, is actually less than idyllic.

As shown in the previous day's photos, the campsite was at the lowest of a series of three lakes. On the last day, we cross-country (no trail) hiked to each of those lakes and then joined up with a trail to hike over Sawtooth pass and down the other side. Originally we were going to camp just on the other side, but we got there at a decent hour, so we decided to just hike out (which turned out to be a couple more miles than we thought, but they were gentle downhill miles so it was ok).

I didn't take any pictures between the first lake (Spring Lake) and the second (Cyclamen Lake) because I was busy adjusting to the whole off trail hiking thing. Cyclamen was amazing though! I love these big rocks and all the reflections, so I have a lot of photos here--complete with people showing you the huge scale of these rocks.

There was more cross-country to the next lake and I took a few pictures this time, mostly of the route scouts who proceeded ahead.

Above is looking back towards the lakes we have just left as we arrive on the plain of the third lake, Columbine. Below we are making our way to the lake which you can see sort of middle left. Below that are two pictures from Columbine's edge where we had lunch. It was nice and high with snow and everything.

Next we rejoined the trail and hiked up a pretty steep ascent. It was somewhere between exhausting and awesome with the wildflowers and snow (in the same picture even!!).

At the top finally! Below are views looking back to Columbine Lake, over to Sawtooth itself, and generally around from the top. We even ran into someone up there who had hiked up the other side (which did not look fun as it was a lot of shale covered trail). It was great going down the shale switchbacks though--fast and easy.

Our last lake stop--Monarch Lake. This was supposed to be our last campsite, but we arrived at a decent hour and it was pretty crowded, so we decided to just hike the last few miles out to the car. We booked it for most of it and were very tired when we got to the end, but it was a nice final hike.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day Four--over the pass and to the lake

After the little side trip, we put our packs back on and hiked up and over another pass. It was a good climb, so we stopped for the views at the top of course, and a few along the way.

(Above) We'll be hiking to those lakes to the right later.

After this photo stop a little ways down, we hiked the rest of the way down the mountain and cross country across the meadow and then up a bit to the lake you can see in the photo above. I managed to get some dust in my eye though, so I was busy trying to see and didn't take any photos of that portion of the adventure. (For those tired of mountains, day five is the last day and then on to new subjects!)