Saturday, August 4, 2018

Indigo Lake 8/2018

For years, decades even, the weekend ritual and routine has been as regular as a pulsar (but not nearly as rapid): Turn off the alarm, yell at the cat, shower, drink coffee, yell at the cat, get a little bite to eat, yell at the cat some more, and then drive a couple of hours to the trailhead of choice. However, this July I did something I haven't done since before I began pursuing the nice little avocation that is hiking: I took a month off. Concerts and family gatherings were partly to blame but let's be honest here, it just felt good to sleep in. Too good, probably, but now I know how the rest of the world rolls! At any rate, the advent of August found me at a tipping point: either I go hiking or give it up altogether.

That's my boy!
Grandson Issiah was staying with us for a three-day weekend and we had already put the first day to good use by cycling 15 miles, which is a long ride for him. On Day 2 of our weekend, the short hike to picturesque Indigo Lake would mark my return to hiking normalcy. Dispensing with the bicycle helmets and cycling gloves from the day prior, we laced up our boots at the Timpanogas Lake Trailhead. We also made sure to slather on Deet too, as the mosquitoes were only too happy to see us, making me wonder if maybe I should have taken the month of August off, too.

Just a beautiful day for a hike

The first couple of miles of the hike weren't all that much to write home about, consisting as they did of an uphill pull through pleasant forest while swatting at unpleasant mosquitoes. The trail switchbacked to and fro underneath a homogeneous stand of firs all seemingly the same size, indicating this area had been logged back in the day. Issiah said that after the aforementioned logging, the hills must have been as bald as me!

Why we hike!
After a couple of miles, the trail leveled out and passed through a series of small but scenic meadows before dropping down to Indigo Lake's basin. The lake is a postcard-perfect advertisement for hiking in the Cascades mountain range. Rugged Sawtooth Peak presides over the far end of the lake while the ever present conifer forest blankets the surrounding hills and slopes. On this day, the sky was a sparkling azure color, a rarity in this summer of forest fires, while small puffy white clouds formed and dissipated in the afternoon sun. Just perfect!

Issiah's swimming companion
Where there is water, there is boy, and Issiah wasted no time jumping into the lake for an impromptu swim. He found a toad swimming with him in the lake, so at least he had some other warty company besides his grandfather. Me, I just lay against a log in the pleasantly warm sunlight, taking pictures of the lake from my nicely prone position, and generally just relaxed after my month-long layoff from hiking. Neither one of us was in a hurry to turn back so we enjoyed a lengthy lollygag at the lake. 

Issiah thought the hike was berry nice
On the way back, we noticed small ripe grouseberries clustered in juicy temptation on the low growing bushes next to the trail. Once Issiah tasted his first grouseberry, our hiking pace became slower than a slothful sloth, but at least we enjoyed fruity dessert on the way down to Timpanogas Lake.

Clouds form over Little Timpanogas Lake
Upon our return to the trailhead, we took a short walk to neighboring Little Timpanogas Lake and Issiah went for a Round 2 swim. I daresay that if we would have visited nearby Timpanogas Lake too, there would have been a Round 3. If Issiah ever takes a DNA test, we'd find salmon and river otters in his family tree. Despite a boy splashing in the lake, the small body of water seemed particularly picturesque today, maybe because of my month-long layoff. Clouds formed over Little Timpanogas Lake, each successive cloud becoming taller than its predecessor. The piling clouds had me wondering if a thunderstorm was arriving. I hoped not, because we surely didn't need any more fires.

The trail was well shaded
After another round of lolling by the lake (me) and lolling in the lake (Issiah), we hopped into the car and commenced the long drive home, augmented by a stop for ice cream and mocha coffee. The next day, Issiah and I did another 15 mile bike ride to cap off what turned out to be nearly a perfect weekend. Hopefully, it will be another 10 years or so before I take another month off of hiking!

Pretty much the Best Weekend Ever!
For more photos of this hike, please visit the Flickr album.

1 comment :

  1. Glad to see you back out there! Can hardly wait to go hike with our grandson too. Memories