Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Big Pine Lakes 2006 – Day 2

***Tuesday, August 8, 2006

We managed to get up at a reasonable hour, at least by normally relaxed Talusdancers standards. (We’ve been known to start hikes as late as noon.) The trailhead was about a mile back down the road, so we did a quick car shuttle to the parking lot there. A few minutes later we had loaded up packs, redistributed stuff to be left in cars, and assembled for a trailhead photo.

BigPineTrailheadPhoto2006|08|08: Trip participants, Big Pine Lakes 2006. August 8, 2006. © Copyright "G Dan Mitchell".

Group trailhead photo. Talusdancers 2006 Big Pine Lakes trip. August 8, 2006. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell.

The first part of the trail ascended steadily across a somewhat rocky, sage-covered south-facing slope. This could be quite hot in the wrong weather or later in the day, but we managed to get across it before the heat became a problem.

I was dealing with a bit of a foot problem. I had injured a toe a few days before the trip but chose not to go to the doctor because “they’d tell me I broke it and shouldn’t go on a pack trip,” which I did not want to hear. Stupid, yes, but plenty of backpackers can probably relate… ;-) In any case, I was reduced to a slow and careful hobble up this trail, but the foot seemed to more or less hold together. A few others had minor issues – a bit of ashthma here and mild altitude sickness there – but nothing major.

Soon the trail rounds a hillside and continues to head up-canyon above an old road bed. Apparently the trailhead used to be a bit higher, but after a bridge washed out it was not replaced, at least not with a structure that would permit vehicle traffic. It seems that the wilderness took back the first mile of this trail.

After climbing past a rocky section the trail eventually entered more forested terrain and, in places, almost flattened out. (This trail is more or less continuously uphill, though there didn’t seem to be any incredibly steep sections.) After awhile we stopped at a forest service cabin that one of our members claimed was once “Lon Cheney’s” (sp?) cabin. In any case, it was in a nice, cool, forested section where the trail flattened out and paused by a creek. We stopped there to eat.

My recollection of the next section of the trail is quite fuzzy, but eventually we reached and rounded Lake One of the seven numbered lakes on the Big Pine Creek drainage. Shortly after that we crossed a rocky bench and Lake Two came into view. We passed around the right side of this lake and just past the head of the lake, above a waterfall that feeds the lake, we crossed this creek and found a nice campsite with a view of the lake, the surrounding peaks, and with enough space for our rather large group. Tents were set up, bug goop applied, bodies washed, naps taken, and dinner eaten.

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August 19, 2006 - Posted by | Commentary

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