Lake Verna on the East inlet sits at 10,180 feet above sea lvl.; one thousand seven hundred eighty-nine feet above the trailhead at grand lake!Goofin' off...'Cause Im allowed to! (not that I wouldnt if it were not permitted...l)
I couldnt resist to post any longer. I cant remember when I last posted- my day is going by so fast! BUT, I can remember that my last post was before I did the hike up the E. Inlet trail. The trail climbs up to spirit lake, 7 miles from the th, and does not stop gaining elevation after the second meadow, where I fish. There are many spots where I would guess I was no more than a thousand feet lower than the summit of Craig, which was behind me for most of the hike. I headed up the trail with no real destination, but when I reached lone pine lake, I had to hit the others and complete the trail.. Lake Verna and Spirit lake. Lots of mushrooms, lots of rodents, lots of GORGEOUS streams, rapids and falls.
At the top, I could see snow just above me, but it was getting late and very steep- I turned around at the start of Spirit Lake. It was a 14mi. r/t, and though I did well uphill, I found my feet and knees in a lot of pain at the bottom! Hike well worth it! The lakes were beautiful, but all of the little, private rapids and tiny waterfalls were the best! !
I did the monarch lake trail in search of mushrooms and anything else I could find... There were lots of shrooms, but nothing I had not already found. I did find a pair of King boletes that I collected. The two mushrooms weighed several pounds, but were certainly worth carrying around the lake! I found one spot that was littered with old trash- far off the trail. I collected up about 20lbs worth of rusted metal and busted ceramics in an old steel pale. A bit further down the road I discovered another 15lbs worth of something (wont publish 'cause Im not sure if it's completely legal to posses and it will be a surprise for my mother upon my return.... )
I stopped at the base of a rock slide area and set my bulky surprise down from my right hand, my rusted, busted bucket from my left, and my pack full of mushrooms on top of it all. My arms were limp and sore.
When I sat down and began rummaging through all of my crap, I noticed a little red crystal reflecting the sun at me from near my shoe. I added a handful of quartz and garnets to the mix.
Another mile or so and I reached the visitor center. I asked about a dumpster to unload the better part of the rash collection. There was a very cool piece of the pottery I wanted to keep, but for the rusted cans and nails and such, I had no need.
The old volunteer told me she knew that they were doing "archaeological research" in the area- on the history of the logging industry. Turns out the trash I brought out was actually historical trash, and was illegal to remove.
My historical crap was confiscated, I was scolded. I marked the location of the crap on a USGS map they had, and the woman gave me the piece of pottery I wanted. I believe it to be the head of a crock from an old bootleggin' operation.
A spiderweb sits in front of an old screw on the "stream-donkey" at monarch lake- 'just thought it was cool how the web seemed to hold the same shapes as the bolt.
below; A blk/w of a Mt Craig sunset on the east inlet trail., flowers on the north inlet. The Michelin-man has lost a limb- gem-studded puffball mushrooms, and a pair of giant king boletes for dinner.
And finally, Fridays' sunset over Flatop mountain. This was really spectacular!!! The brilliant colors were true- I have altered NOTHING on this photo!!!
IT was the best one yet, though it lasted for only a few minutes.. . Way cool clouds!!...