Sunday, July 14, 2013

Indigo Lake

Indigo Lake
So, we've had a lot of fun hiking lately but something has been missing from our summer hiking experience. Let's see, what can it be? Sun? Nope, got so much sun I'm almost out of sunscreen. Wildflowers? It's been a great wildflower year, can't be that. Views? Two words: Warner Mountains. Hmm, what can it be? Oh well, I shall ponder this question on the trail, I'm sure the answer will come to me at some point.

Hikers, running from the mosquitoes

Actually, the answer was readily apparent when I got out of the car at Timpanogas Lake in the form of several million mosquitoes who were extremely glad to see me again, they really missed me. The feeling was not mutual and I couldn't spray tractor-strength Deet on fast enough.


When faced with such numbers of insectitude, slathering Deet on is the toxic equivalent of the little Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dike: not very effective despite the valiant effort. Several hundred thousand of the several hundred millions of invertebrate vampires were brave enough to drill past the chemical layer to get to my candy-flavored (to mosquitoes) blood and I learned not to stop too long in one place as I hiked, slapping all the while at my various exposed body parts.

This is why we hike!
The hike to Indigo Lake isn't particularly long as the trail switchbacks up a forested slope, arriving at the lake in just under 2 miles. The view at the lake is heavy on the wow-factor as Sawtooth Peak rises 1,400 craggy feet above the far end of the lake. Normally, the view requires a more contemplative stop but due to the mosquito wow-factor, I reluctantly kept moving.

Sawtooth Peak avalanche basin
Just because, I took the small path along the lake, walking to the rock pile that is the Sawtooth Peak avalanche basin. White and pink heather was blooming in between the rocks and nodding columbines drooped at the forest rimming the lake.  

Sawtooth Peak
Returning to the main trail, I continued up towards the intersection with the Windy Pass Trail. Putting the lake behind me somewhat, the mosquitoes abated to a dull whine but there were plenty of downed trees across the trail to make the hike a little bit tedious as Deet and sweat ran into my eyes. At the pass and the trail intersection, I decided I had enough and saved the intended Sawtooth Peak climb for another mosquito-free and a not-so hot day. 

You need to eat more mosquitoes
So back down the trail I went, fighting fallen trees and mosquitoes. Despite the travails, the view at Indigo Lake was well worth the blood donation.  At the trailhead, I continued on across the road for a brief peek at Little Timpanogas Lake, a small lake accessed by a trail flanked by a carpet of Queen's Cup, it was a nice way to cap off a scenic hike.

The week after this hike, lightning peppered the Cascades and a small fire started in the vicinity of nearby Opal Lake. Hopefully, the Opal Lake Fire will stay next to its namesake lake and leave Indigo and Timpanogas Lakes alone. Unfortunately,  there's probably a bunch of smoke in the area now but on the plus side, there's probably a charred mosquito carcass or two floating in the ashes.

To see the rest of the pictures of this hike, please visit the Flickr album.

No comments :

Post a Comment