Hiking the Indian Peaks Wilderness exceeded expectations. This is my fourth backpacking trip and I’m finally getting the hang of it. Three years ago, I carried waaaaay too much when backpacking to Sawtooth. I needed help lifting my pack to my shoulders and taking it off. I resembled Cheryl Strayed in Wild, who carried, Monster, almost twice her weight. Mine was pretty dang overpacked last year too considering it was only an overnighter.
No matter how well you plan, you never know what to expect when backpacking especially in the wilderness. If you’ve never backpacked, hikers bring everything they need, including food, water, shelter, bedding, and clothes along with all the extra gear and essentials.
This time, I wanted to make smart choices to save on weight. For instance, when picking out bowls, I chose a thin takeout dish as opposed to melamine plastic to save on ounces. I took the bare minimum of clothes and still didn’t wear half of them. Luckily, the weather cooperated.
We started up the Hesse trail to Lost Lake, which is a favorite place of mine. I wrote a short story a while back and then found this incredibly similar place to the one in my imagination. Weird!
Passing the Lost Lake fork in the road, we headed into the Indian Peaks Wilderness to Woodland Lake. This was around a 2000 foot in elevation climb, but parts of it were flatter so we made pretty good time.
On our way up, we came upon some other hikers. One shushed us and pointed. A moose and its calf grazed in the wetlands near the stream. How cool is that?
We didn’t get very close since moose are known to be aggressive especially when with calves.
Once we reached the lake, I felt that same flying feeling after setting down my pack Ahhhhhhh……..
Danny, Dan, Courtney and I had plenty of time to eat lunch, set up camp and explore. I even took a nap! In my defense, I woke up at 4:45 and it was almost a six mile hike from the car gaining an elevation of almost 2000 feet. Excuses, excuses…
Dan had time for a little fishing before sunset. He caught several cutthroat trout, but tossed them back into the wild to swim another day. Lady loves the water and played a game of “catch the fishing line.”
Courtney and Danny walked over to watch the fun.
We camped under the second night of a full moon. It actually felt warmer than during the day when howling winds chilled us from the mountains. It got me in the mood to write a spooky camping tale.
The next morning, Courtney and I explored beyond Woodland Lake to Skyscraper. We had thought it was miles away, but was a short jaunt upward.
I was glad for Courtney’s ski pole while hiking out. Loose rock still slipped out from under me a few times.
We were happy campers once we made it back to civilization!
Would I do it next year? Sure. I would add hiking poles to my backpack and leave my underwear at home. LOL!
Where would you like to backpack? I would love to hear about your latest adventures!
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