Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Part 3: A Day On The Lake

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You would think that as tired as I am I would be sleeping in and not wake up till noon.  I guess for as long as I'm in the woods, sleep will always be an issue for me.  

Since starting backpacking 3 years ago, I can count in one hand the times I've actually slept well.  This was not one of those nights.  I tossed, I turned, I snored...which woke me up.  I can't catch a break!  Up at the crack of dawn...5:30 AM to be exact, I decide to get up and just walk around camp.  Ears ringing, throat throbbing, not a happy morning but still in good spirits.

I sit by the lake with my cup of coffee and just wander with my thoughts...I quickly forget that I'm sick as a dog



A few hours later, camp start to wake up...feels strange to not worry about time. You can imagine that for the majority of the time, I typically only spend sub-24 hours in the woods.  The following morning typically means a quick breakfast, then packing up and hiking out.  Today, we get to relax, day hike, and explore.  

Originally, I wanted to join my friends in a day hike to Hart Lake - another Alpine Lake that's a bit off-trail that's about under 3 miles away.  However, I decide to hang back and just explore the lake.

After having my oatmeal with fruit...and another cup of coffee, I put on my trail runners and start to walk.  

There isn't really a trail around the lake and looking at the perimeter from a distance, some of these boulders seem innocent...until you get up close.  Ankle breakers if you're not careful.





Not sure how long it took to navigate around the lake but it was enough to tire me out.  Got back to camp and once again, I start feeling warm.  I head to my tent to take a mid-day nap...it felt good to catch up on some sleep.

I'm usually not one to just sit around at camp so the short jaunt around the lake pacified me enough...though I still wish that I bagged Hart Lake.

We had another beautiful sunny day at the lake.  The wildlife were also enjoying the day.  Marmots were going wild...as if on a mission, they kept stalking everyone at camp.  Possibly hoping to grab an easy snack!



This was my first time seeing a Marmot, naturally, I was excited! I kept chasing them, stalking them, hoping for that one great shot...they do like to pose but quickly move once they see you have the camera out...sneaky bastards!

Aside from Marmots, we also had a young buck that paid us a visit.



...and a chipmunk.



It was a truly nice day on the lake.  Warm and sunny, fish were biting, and wildlife...what more could you ask for?  

A few hours later, my friends return from their hike to Hart Lake and not soon after they decide to bag a peak nearby...so jealous! Funny story actually how this peak needed to be bagged.

While lollygagging at camp, a few hikers pass through and we all greet one another.  Once couple, however, struck us as unique...well, that's putting it nicely.  They were more douchey really...at least the one lady was.

Us: Hi! Where did you guys head to?

Douchey Lady: We headed to this scarp by the other end of the cirque

Us: Oh! How was it? Sounds like a good hike!

Douchey Lady: It was! But you guys look like you're having fun too.  We like to hike, but you (while gesturing at all of us) can also sit around like what you guys are doing.  Ok, see you guys.

Wow...really? How presumptuous of you!  Well, you can imagine, that didn't sit well with us so some of the group took it as a dare and half of my friends decide to head to this "scarp" HA!

40 minutes later, I hear a "hoot" and this is what I saw...



They bagged it alright...challenge accepted and met! 

Later that evening, everyone talks about the trip so far.  Sad that this was my last night in Ostrander Lake and it felt as though I didn't accomplish anything.  Compared to my trip last year to Ediza Lake where I hiked to Iceberg Lake.  This is just a sign that I need a return trip here to finish what I started.

Dinner for our last evening was wonderful.  Two of my friends started to fish the lake and pretty much provided dinner for everyone.  Nothing like fresh Brooke Trout cooked in Butter and Olive Oil to fill our starving stomachs. 


The following morning, everyone was quick to rise knowing it was time to go.  It was bitter sweet for me at this point.  On one hand, I was happy to have had the chance to go on this trip and on the other, I was sad that I didn't get to accomplish the goals I have set for myself.  Again, this will be used as a reminder to come back here again.

Overall, this was a wonderful trip.  I got to experience Yosemite as I have always imagined...by spending time in the woods and not with the tourists in the Valley.  There is still so much and so many trails to explore here and I cannot wait to come back.

As always, thank you for reading and I appreciate everyone's support.

Till next time...see you on the trails.


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