Poor Bobby has been suffering from various ailments (intestinal issues and broken bones) all year and hasn’t been able to hike much, so now that he has a clean bill of health we wanted to gently reintroduce him to the mountains. With 19 miles RT and only 1550 feet of elevation gain (according to the book, but it felt like more – possibly because it’s been a while since I carried a full pack. And possibly due to all the laziness and fatness. Ahem.), Spectacle Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness seemed to fit the bill.
We took it easy on the way in to make sure Bobby was doing ok, and stopped after 4 or so flat miles to have lunch by Pete Lake. I have never heard anything positive about Pete at all, so I was pleased to find a very pretty little lake nestled below some impressive mountain scenery.
Bobby seemed happy and energetic even in the heat, so we carried on towards Spectacle Lake. After 7 miles or so we got to the double creek crossing where a ranger was hanging signs – apparently the bridge is out on the alternate trail via the PCT, so you have to ford the creek either way. It wasn’t deep, but it was pretty damn cold – here’s a video of the first half of the crossing:
We hiked onward and (finally!) upward with the ranger for a bit (hi Billie! ) until she forked off towards Escondido and left us to battle the dusty switchbacks up to Spectacle. The first view of the lake from the ridge is amazing, I fell in love instantly. Unfortunately the local mosquitoes had similar amorous feelings for us, so we hurried down and along the lakeshore to find a good campsite.
JK eventually spotted a great site at the very tip of the little peninsula, and we wasted no time getting the tent up and hiding inside. JK went for a quick swim, but apart from that and eating dinner, we pretty much spent the whole evening in the tent, reading and snoozing. Stupid little vampires.
We were hoping it would be better the next day since it was supposed to be windy, but by then the mosquitoes were bad enough that we elected to have breakfast in the tent, something we never do. We spent a couple more hours reading before deciding to just give up and hike out.
We cleaned off some trail dust in Pete Lake (heavenly!) on the way out and hurried out the last four miles to the car. I need to either grow thicker skin or be more liberal with the DEET. We spent a month in India for our honeymoon and the mosquitoes were NOTHING compared to here in the Cascades.
I might have been less pissy about the skeeters if the little buggers had been polite enough to avoid my face, but noooo, I had to walk around for the next week with a face full of what looked like giant, bulbous zits.
Here’s a clip from JK (and Wellie’s!!) swim in Pete Lake – it’s a wee bit long since I haven’t found a video editing program yet.
Hopefully I’ll be able to go back here later in the season when the little bloodsucking monsters have died.