Monday, July 30, 2012

Our Adventures in Back Country Camping, Day 2

Despite less than stellar sleep the first night, our second day dawned clear and beautiful. We whipped up some coffee and freeze-dried eggs, which were actually pretty tasty, using our awesome single burner dual fuel stove and then got the lay of the land a little bit more.
Our campfire area. Someone put a ton of work into making this area really cool. The benches are secure and level.

View towards the far end of the lake from a bench

Our little home away from home.

View of the lake and rocky peak from our camp area

Another view of the peak and lake

After breakfast and some down time, we loaded up some snacks and fishing gear and hiked down to the end of the lake. Those aren't glaciers, just huge piles of snow that hadn't melted off yet. 

The lake was so clear

And the rocky peaks above just looked super cool. So, once you hike to the end of the lake, you can turn and scramble up this:

To get to another Upper Miner Lake that's even higher up and supposedly has great fishing. It looked really steep but not super long, so we ventured up. 

Erik is such a great hubby and wore the pack containing our lunch and fish gear.

We had to stop quite often to rest due to the steepness, and I snapped a few pictures of the lower lake as we ascended. Once we got about halfway I had to stop looking down though, as my fear of heights was making me feel quite anxious. I had to just focus on looking up towards our destination and putting one foot in front of the other.

We finally made it to the pretty upper lake.

We had a snack/lunch and Erik set up his fishing pole while I looked around a little.

But Erik didn't get any fishing in. Just about the time he got done setting up his pole, some dark menacing clouds started rolling in over the peak above us and a pretty chilly breeze came up. We hadn't packed our rain gear (duh!) and didn't want to get stuck in a thunderstorm that high up, so we packed up our gear and headed back down the steep hill. We stopped in some trees for shelter from the rain at one point, and then continued on. The rain made the logs and bear grass slippery, so we had to be even more careful on our way down. I used quite a few trees and clumps of bear grass to grasp as I inched my way down. We finally made it down. I was tired and had had enough of the mosquitoes and it was still kinda raining so I decided to take a nap. It was pretty relaxing just laying in our tent and exactly what I needed after the morning's excitement.

After my much needed catnap, Erik thought we should jump in the lake. We didn't swim, but just jumped in and out real quick like. It was so refreshing and pretty stinkin' cold. 

Once we were dry, we decided it was probably time to do some fishing and catch dinner. Erik set me up with a pole, bobber and Chernobyl ant fly and cast it out for me. Before he'd even got his fly rod set up, I'd caught this nice sized Brook trout. It was beautiful! And it was the only one I caught that night! Erik caught two more smaller brookies and we figured it was enough for dinner. I whipped up some instant mashed garlic potatoes to go with the fish and we had quite the feast. 

I snapped these pictures while Erik was catching the other two fish:

The beauty of the lake, trees and the rocky crags up above was just jaw dropping, and the pictures just don't do it justice.

It was gorgeous there. After dinner we cleaned up camp and just sat, looking at the beauty around us as we chatted until nearly dark. It was such a great day spent in an absolutely beautiful place. My legs, especially my calves, were pretty tired yet again and this time my whole body followed suit and I slept like a rock all night.

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