We saw a moose on the drive in, but I guess we're now moose snobs, because we didn't even stop to take a picture. I prefer to see my moose on the trail.
Last year had been the ideal trip, aside from nearly getting killed by lightning: days of walking through sunny, wildflower-studded meadows past scintillating lakes under snow-white mountains, without ever getting tired. It was impossible to take a bad photo. But you can never take the same trip twice. Our weather this time was chillier and rainier, and the flowers were past their prime. And there were cows. (Ranchers are allowed to graze their cattle on national forest land, for a small fee.)
But, at least there were fewer mosquitoes than on the last trip here, where we often had to wear full rain gear and head nets. We set up our tent in a daisy-filled meadow.
For dinner I had prepared some quart-sized freezer ziplocs with:
3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
dried mushrooms (ours happened to be wild porcinis we collected last year)
Add frozen peas, grape tomatoes, and pre-cooked bacon, and 10oz. hot water. Stir and eat.
We were in the tent by 8pm and played some cards. Then, we were lucky to witness one of the most beautiful moonrises I've ever seen. I hadn't planned it but the tent was oriented toward it.
In the morning, the inside of the tent was wet with condensation. I know better than to set up a tent in a meadow, next to a pond. We had just been too tired the night before to keep looking for a site under the trees.
By 11 the weather had turned windy and rainy again, putting a damper on our mood. (However, it was still better than a day at work!)
This snowfield had a big crescent crevasse.
The sun did come out for a little bit in the afternoon, and we took the opportunity to set up the hammock, eat too much food, and nap a little.
Our campsite that evening was better than the last one, under the trees by Lost Lake. One of the trees came with a convenient seat.
K. woke me for sunrise, which was beautifully pink.
Warming hands as the stove heats our water for oatmeal
We only had a couple miles left to get back to our car, and took plenty of pauses to watch some deer, eat snacks, and admire the scenery.
We took some senior portraits.
The area was too beautiful to leave. After we got back to the car, we took a little day hike on another trail.
And then, alas, back to our everyday lives.