Hello all once again. I had been itching to get out and hang again, hadn't been camping for a couple months it seems. Lack of time with work and sometimes it's difficult to drum up someone to go with. I had attempted to get to this lake on two seperate occasions already only to turn back. Firstly because the only paved road to this lake has a rediculous amount of unmarked intersections and I took a wrong turn. After about 3 hours on the road and not being exactly sure where the heck I was, I had to call it quits. The second time I attempted the journey I took a different route under the advice from a friend at work. He said, unpaved but maintained road with only a couple of well marked turns. Turns out he must not have been down this road for at least 10 years. I ultimately had to turn back because this "road" had turned to no more than a 4x4 jeep trail which my little Nissan pickup is nowhere near capable of navigating. I am lucky, however, to have escaped with my vehicle in-tact.
So back to the matter at hand.
I once again returned to the paved route. Only this time I called the ranger station that covers this area and got some better directions, however, still not that great though. I was informed that if I wanted to have a campfire that I would need to camp in the specified campground.
The drive to this lake is not for the faint of heart. The winding, potholed, unmarked road demands your constant attention. Luckily I came across some locals on the side of the road and asked them if I was on the right track. I was a good thing that I did because apparently you need to "stay to the left for the next several intersections(unmarked, of course)" And, in heeding their advice I came across a sign directing me right to Hell Hole or left to French Meadows. I definitively knew where I was going, finally. I turned right to Hell Hole. I continued to climb in elevation and just as I peaked and came around a corner I could see it! Beautiful blue lake nestled in the granite wilderness! There was a little parking area with a restrooom and a short trail to a scenic vista. as I looked down at the lake I couldn't see anyone else around, either on the lake or the shore. It seemed as though I would have the place entirely to myself. I continued down the road to the campground. When I pulled into the campground I noticed that indeed I wasn't completely alone as two of the campsites were occupied. Some guys with a truck and boat and some others that were just camping/ hiking in the area. The campground has limited facilities, pit toilet and a couple water taps. However, the taps were not working because the forest service was in the process of replacing some water lines.
All the campsites were beautiful and unique in their own way. I however was looking for something with a great view! And I found it! Site #6. I did find though, that not all of the sites had a bear box. No problem, I borrowed the one from site 4(unoccupied). I proceeded to set myself up. All of the sites are "walk in" but no worry, even the farthest site was only 50 yards or so from the parking area. I was hoping for this because I had brought my coleman camp stove for cooking ease. You may laugh, but for me this is luxury when camping. I set up my Hennessy as far out from the woods as I could, so as to best view the stars on what was to be a wonderful clear night. Also, I had a great view of the lake and accompanying vista.
once I was all set up I decided that it was time to go down and check out the water.