Elevation: generally decending
Wildlife: bear scat, gray jays, ground squirrel, common loon, sea gull
Thursday morning I woke early and did sun salutations and warrior poses down by the river. It only seemed appropriate for such a gorgeous place. Serenity now... Well, that and I was feeling pretty stiff from hiking 20 miles and sleeping on half a ridgerest* for the past two nights.
After I got limbered up, I grabbed my book and settled down on the warming shelter porch. Because we didn't have snow fields or summits to cross I wasn't in any hurry to get moving. Mr. X showed up about 30 minutes later ready for breakfast. Some of our fellow hikers teased us about hiking in crocs and asked if we worked for the Croc company. No definitely not, we told them and I muttered under my breath, "don't you think they'd choose fit people to advertize for them?"
Deep Lake area
The trail out of Happy camp is strewn with broken rock. We winded up a hill and quickly saw the ecology change to thicker forest with what looked like doug fir and blue spruce. We spotted the dark blue waters of Deep lake and followed them for some time.
At Deep Lake campground we crossed the bridge and stopped for a "rest" and discovered that that camp outhouse has the most beautiful view. Unfortunately, the mosquitos were biting so it's also where we used our headnets.
From here the lake turns into a river. We saw the Deep Lake canyon and rapids and eventually met up with Warden Adam. He was doing his daily hiking (rangers and wardens hike 15km a day checking on campers and trail conditions), and stopped to warn us that we were entering a heavy bear use area, that bears had been in Lindeman camp so be cautious about our food storage.
We started working our way down hill and the forest started to look more like Montana/Idaho/Utah, lots of Lodgepole pine everywhere. The scent of dry soil and pine needles reminded me of the family cabin at Mack's.
We knew we had to be getting close to Lindeman and then we rounded a corner and were treated to a view of the lake. I thought the color was Forest Service green - you know the color of their trucks. Mr. X called it toxic waste green. We followed the trail into the camp where we sat down to lunch of PB and crackers, (really old but surprisingly appealing) baby carrots, and beef Ramen. After lunch we visited the interpretive display inside a wall tent. They had a bunch of photographs from the gold rush days and quotes from stampeders.
Bare Loon lake
From there we got back on the trail and treked up and down on bus sized boulders. We passed what I thought were trees scarred by bears, but Mr. X suggested they were bearing trees, as in orienteering. We also had views of Lindman and Johnson lakes. We were very happy to arrive in at the Bare Loon Lake camp. We found a spot to pitch our tent...in direct view of the swimmers. Mr. X took a quick swim and then we cooked our dinner, walked around the camp enjoying the sunshine and then went to bed to escape the bugs.
Bare Loon camp from helipad
*one of Mr. X's load saving measures. We had one of those cheap blue mats and Mr. X cut it in half - one for each of us.