Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sawtooth Lake Backpacking

So, way back in early summer we went on our first overnight of the year. We went up to Sawtooth Lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. It was amazing. 
The hike itself is fairly short, but moderately difficult. Just about 5 miles, and a fair amount of elevation gain. 

The lake, worth every step. 

The hike up is gorgeous, and it was so hot! Andrew was working nights at the time. So he had actually worked the night before and we took off as soon as he got home that morning. Despite our early start, we didn't start the trail until 11am. And by 2pm it was close to 90 degrees. 
We kept our packs really light because we were only staying one night. But still, sweat was pouring. 

We finally were close to the end, and there were pretty flowers everywhere. Like the shooting stars (above). 

We stopped for some ice cold water and to take our packs off. And it was just so pretty at this point. 

A little bit farther and there was the lake. It was so gorgeous, and bright blue. There was no one else around despite all the hikers we had seen on the way. We think they all turned at another, lower lake, instead of coming up to this one. And we set up camp, at this great spot that overlooked the mountains and the water. 

From our camping spot, we climbed down the rock and lay right next to the water. Which was freezing. We were so hot and covered in sweat we wanted to jump in the water. So what else would we do but take off our clothes and jump in right?
Andrew, brave, brave man did just that. The water was so cold he had a hard time saying anything as his eyes got wide and he tried to get back to the rocks. I only managed to get half way in the water before I couldn't think straight and pulled myself out. 
Well, at least we washed most of the sweat off, so our sleeping bags weren't gross. We dried off on the warm rocks and just took in the view. 

The next morning the water was like glass, and we took our time making our oatmeal and eating our breakfast and watching the water. 
We wanted to get out of there before it was too hot, and I think we left camp around 9:30 or so. 

It was a wonderful hike. I can't wait to go back and hopefully do more nights in the area. There are several other lakes beyond this one that will make for a nice trip. But that will probably have to wait for next summer! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Watching for Whales!

Fell off the face of the planet for a while. Back in Idaho, and happy to be back with Andrew and the pets. When we were in Alaska, we went whale watching. This won't be too much of a photo dump because it is incredibly hard to get good pictures of a whale...who knew?

The trip was great we saw at least eight individual Humpback Whales. Every single one was exciting. And I must say, I am an expert whale spotter. Add it to the resume!
I miss Alaska. The grand mountains, and having a glacier right in my backyard. But the wide open space that is Idaho is as breathtaking as usual. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Helicopter Ride over the Juneau Ice Field

After our excellent tour on the Mendenhall Glacier we had a nice extended fly over the Juneau Ice Field. An amazing basin filled with snow and ice, 100 miles long and 45 miles wide. It's the birthplace of 38 named glaciers. It was so neat seeing the beginning of the Mendenhall.
In this picture, you can see the pilot but also the Mendenhall and its medial moraine.

Look at all those mountains, and snow! The farthest mountains are in Canada.
The below picture is the Norris Glacier.

The next picture is the Taku glacier. This was a neat glacier to see because it's advancing unlike so many others off the icefield. 

On the descent down to the airport.

And full circle, you can see the Mendenhall glacier beyond the trees.
It was such an amazing trip, the guides were excellent and the helicopter ride was even enjoyable. I never thought I'd say that!