Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lake Notasha

Brother David and grandson Aiden wanted to go backpacking with me but David had a few conditions attached to his participation in our venture. Well, there was really only one condition: "Take it easy on me" he said. Dang, all these conditions, rules, and regulations! But yeah, I did want him to go so we did take it easy on him by selecting a relatively level hike from Cold Springs Trailhead into the Sky Lakes Wilderness. 

Mosquito food
When we disembarked from the car at the Cold Springs Trailhead we were greeted by a magnificent summer day. And best of all, no mosquitoes, how did we ever get so lucky? Oh, we were so naive and innocent then! The trail immediately entered the shady forest whereupon the air came alive with the whine of mosquitoes, matched only by the the whine of 12 year old Aiden. He tried to repel the mosquitoes with his own unique brand of repellant that had something to do with eating salsa the night before. His manner of delivering the repellant was perhaps an attempt to ease the uphill with some home-made jet propulsion, too. Although he failed on both counts, he nonetheless was banished to the rear of our hiking column by the two disgusted adult members of our party. He was quite vocal about expressing his antipathy to the thick schools of insectile piranhas, so much so he earned the trail name "Mosquito Boy". I supposed we could have called him "Dances with Mosquitoes" too.

Aiden goes snow hiking
About a mile into the hike, snow made an appearance and the trail disappeared under intermittent drifts. It was surprising to see so much snow in what certainly has been a hot June. Fortunately, we were always able to find (eventually!)  the trail tread on the other side of the drifts so we didn't get lost, just confused at times. And if the mosquitoes and snow were not enough trail travails, the path was also covered with fallen trees, bringing back bad memories of last month's hike to Grasshopper Mountain. It just seems that trees covering the trail are going to be part of most every hike this year.

Lake Notasha 
So, while I am regrettably somewhat used to climbing over trees, David and Aiden were not and much grumbling ensued. But for the most part, we were able to walk around the downfall and didn't have to clamber over log piles too much. So while we were making progress through the piles of debris, the hiking was fairly tedious. By the time we reached the first lake, Lake Notasha, David and Aiden were quite adamant in expressing their desire to camp at the idyllic little lake. My vote was for Isherwood Lake, about 0.7 miles further up the trail but who listens to me anyway.

Isherwood Lake, at sunset
So we set up camp at a nice little site atop a forested knoll overlooking the blue-green lake sparkling in the afternoon sun, where we proceeded to slap at mosquitoes for the remainder of the day. After dinner, we did take a hike further up the Isherwood Trail, visiting and turning around at Ishwerwood Lake at twilight. The lakes of the Sky Lakes Wilderness are plenty in number and close in proximity so we visited Liza Lake and Lake Elizabeth on the way back to camp.

I love the smell of  Deet in the morning!
The next morning, David and I waited hours and hours for a sleeping teenager to awake; we finally took matters into our own hands and rousted Aiden from his slumber. Because of the rough state of the trail, the consensus was that we would head out early instead of struggling for another day to get to Lake Margurette. So back down the trail we go, each of us with our attendant mosquito cloud swirling behind. Maybe it was because they were mentally prepared for the snow and downfall but both Aiden and David thought the hiking was easier on the hike out.

Dances with Mosquitoes
So in the end, we were somewhat disappointed that we didn't accomplish all we wanted to in terms of distance and destination, but we all agreed it was better than staying at home and we all enjoyed the hike anyway. And as far as David is concerned, I'm letting him know this hike was a mulligan and I don't have to take it easy on him next time.

Your job is to eat mosquitoes, now get to work!
For more pictures of this hike, please visit the Flickr album.

1 comment :

  1. Sounds like an adventure your grandson will never forget! Good for you for getting your family outdoors.