Dan's Outside

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

Big Pine Lakes 2006 – Day 3

***Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Today was truly a lazy day – though not the most lazy day of the trip, as you will soon see. Our goal was Lake Four, and the hike was supposedly only one mile, though it probably totalled up to perhaps a mile and a half before we were finished.

We recrossed – not without difficulty – the inlet stream to Lake Two and climbed back up to the main trail before heading up-canyon past overhanging rocks and an impressive wildflower display. Before too long the trail wound around and passed above Lake Three. By how the views of Temple Crag, Mts. Sill and Bayley, the North Palisade, the Palisade Glacier and other alpine sights were becoming quite impressive.

After some additional travel through forest – always climbing steadily – we came to a trail junction and turned left to pass around the side of Lake Four. We traversed alongside the lake for a bit and then climbed up toward a rocky bench which we attained after crossing one final small creek.

As we arrived a pack train was just getting ready to leave – this explained the large group of people carrying only day packs that we had seen a bit earlier on the trail. Once the pack train departed, we had the extensive camp area to ourselves.

This spot apparently gets quite a bit of use. There was a sort of main path up the middle of the bench with rock-marked camp sites along both sides and others hidden a bit further off. We selected campsites – oddly enough, by age it seemed – and got ourselves settled in; the plan was to be here for the next three nights. There was even more time for laziness on this afternoon; once again many visited the lake for swim, others read or napped.

A spot at one end of the area became our impromptu meeting and meal spot where we all joined for dinner, after-dinner socializing and (later on the trip) breakfast. Sunset was impressive, though the sun dipped behind the high Sierra crest to our west more than an hour before actual sunset.

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August 19, 2006 - Posted by | Commentary

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