We started as three strangers. Three days, two nights, and about 20 miles molded us into grateful friends. I couldn’t pass up a spontaneous opportunity to backpack in to one of my favorite places in the world.
With just a few day’s notice we two sexagenarians and one tricenarian pulled together a memorable hike to Imogene Lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Lucy, our trip leader volunteered her truck to get us to the upper trailhead, saving us four dusty miles of trudging.
This pictures doesn’t do justice to the boulders, canyons, and potholes of the road to the upper trailhead.
Rex was testing his hip after major surgery to repair damage from a motorcycle accident. A veteran of the Appalachian Trail, he was well prepared, trail wise, and tough as a honey badger.
The first milestone was watching the moon set behind the peaks that shelter Hell Roaring Lake. This late in the year, the lake was merely purring. The iconic Finger of Fate thrusts skyward in the background.
This little devil entertained us during our lunch break.
A little more than 7 miles brought us to the lovey Imogene Lake.
Rooms with views.
The next day, Rex circumnavigated the lake, while Lucy & I headed for an unnamed lake some 287 feet higher and 2 miles northwest of our camp site.
I would like to say this was an easy stroll, but we turned it into a death-defying boulder-scramble.
At least the scenery was grand, with two beautiful waterfalls joining hands and flowing into a charming unnamed pond below us.
Our spirits flagged, our energy fled, but we persevered. Eventually we reached the sister lake of the one we had intended to visit. It was beautiful and peaceful. I must confess, I was just about reeling at this point.
Back at camp we swam, washed our feet, and traded hiking stories till the sun went down.
After dinner, we noticed that smoke from nearby fires was filtering into our haven.
Which made for an eerie sunset and a spectacular sunrise the next morning.
Why does the trip out always seem twice as long as the trip in?
As we bounced down the rutted road to the lower trailhead where my car was parked, I tried to capture the beauty of the Sawtooth Valley that would welcome us back to civilization. We have the wildfire season to thank for the hazy sky.
All the photos were taken with my iPhone.