Alpine Lake, Sawtooths, Idaho
Well I got to take my son camping and hiking over the last couple of days. The past few weeks have been a mad house of DIY work on his hammock, my tarp, and everything else. Along with ordering a bunch of new gear. So first off I ordered him a Grand Trunk Ultralight, some new no-see-um netting, zipper, webbing, and tri rings. Here is what I came up with...
We drove up to the Sawtooths on wensday evening just in time to set up a camp as it grew dark. I had a lot of new stuff to give an initial test to. First my new BB, only been here about a week and have only set it up inside, it was great. Then my new DIY tarp, finished it last saturday, still going to be playing around with it a bit, mostly just need to make a stuff sack for it. Next, on Wensday just before we left my Golite ultra 20 quilt showed up just in time, very cool(but in a warm way:cool:) much eisier in the hammock than a bag. And last variable to the kit and my arch nemesis on this trip my new pice of 1/8"cc foam. I had big hopes that 1/8" would be enough for me but alas it was miserably inadequate to keep the chill out in the high mountains. I was supper comfortable, my top half was toasty warm but the mountain blue butt began to really take a toll on me about 4AM. By 5 I grabbed my son from his hammock and retreated to the car to thaw. He said he was fine but I figured if I was cold I should get him in and run the heater for a bit to warm us up.
After such a cold night I deiced rather than hiking into the woods for an overnighter with no extra insulation it would be best to just day hike and then retreat to lower (hoping warmer) elevations for our second night. So we loaded up our packs with some gear and snacks and headed down the Iron creek tail towards Alpine Lake.
We hiked through dense pine forests on wonderful trail for hours.
Eventually the forest opens at a large meadow with views all around looking up to the ring of peaks surrounding the valley.
From there we returned to the forest and the real up hill climb began, as the trail switch backs its way up the hill side for several hundred feet of elevation gain. From there you continue through more dense trail along the hill side until you pop out into a large open meadow step bordered by a quick easy stream crossing on thin logs. This meadow was in full bloom with summer wild flowers of all kinds, colors and smells.
And views of the surrounding and much closer peaks begin the really impose themselves on the breathtaking landscape.
From here the trail again begins to climb a steep series of switch backs that seem to go on almost indefinitely as they climb
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2611/...060ec64c1e.jpg to a small ridge were the trail forks, one branch continuing on up to Sawtooth lake and the other dropping down a bit to Alpine lake.
We set up our hammocks along the bank of the lake and ate a lunch of salmon, cookies, and pepperoni sticks wile swaying in the cool breeze. It felt great to put my feet up and lay back and relax after a good hike.
We hung out at the lake for a couple of hours before deciding to head back to the car for dinner.
After getting back to the car we drove a couple of hours closer to home and set up for the night late. It was clear as could be so I decided not to pitch the tarps, I laid awake for a little bit watching the stars and leaves in the trees. We again both sleep great in our hammocks. But again early in the morning I began to get chilled on my lower side. I hung in there and pulled my quilt in a bit tighter and waited for the sun to come up. Again WD, my son said he was fine, and warm all night, I never heard a peep from him till the sun was up.
We had a great spot to hang, amongst the aspen trees and tall grass, And I got to take some time to play some with how to hang the BB in the daylight. We had breakfast and hot chocolate and broke camp and drove the last 40 miles home.