Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Seven Lakes Basin, Olympic National Park - June 17, 2015

Anders Fishing Before Hitting the Trail - Deer Lake, Olympic National Park
We took our time hitting the trail this morning. Being camped in a beautiful spot does that to you. Anders and Charlie tried their hand at fishing on our own private lake before we set out at ten o'clock.

It was a steady climb after leaving Deer Lake. A little over a mile in, we came across a small lake. We dropped the packs and waded in. The water was refreshing and the depth perfect. We could stand in the middle and just keep our heads above water. It was a little bracing at first, but was perfect after a couple minutes. Swimming in lakes reboots the entire system. It felt like washing the first mile off and starting fresh.

Our First Alpine Dip - June 17, 2015
Leaving the lake, we steadily climbed toward Seven Lakes Basin. The wildflowers are out at this time of year. The mountainside is lit with color. Craig and I let the guys go after a while. We stopped for water and a box of Junior Mints in the shade of what I believe to be Nobel Fir. This was our last stop before climbing down into the Seven Lakes Basin.

Walking into Seven Lakes Basin with a View of Lunch Lake - June 17, 2015
The trail service has built in a beautiful stone staircase to the bottom of the basin. It was a religious experience working my way to the bottom with views of Round Lake and Lunch Lake. I dropped my pack and scouted the area for suitable campsites. After at least thirty minutes, we settled on a nice spot tucked away on a hill above Lunch Lake. All four of us meandered down to the lakeside and took another swim. We found a large stone that protruded into the water at a fairly deep spot. It was easy to get in and out of the water. I have named it the "Dipping Rock."

After cleansing ourselves in the cool waters, Anders and I took a nap in our tents. Craig and Charlie later told me that they went fishing and landed four trout. All were released. Charlie went down to Round Lake and spotted a bear. I took a short video and showed us. I was interested in heading down there later.

Craig at Campsite - Lunch Lake
We cooked dinner on the shore of Lunch Lake. A couple borrowed Charlie's Steri Pen and talked of the beauty of the Enchantments. I look forward to seeing that area someday. Anders and Charlie took turns lightly casting off a rock while eating. The mosquitoes were bad, but I'm getting better at removing them from my mind.

Dinner and Fishing on the Lake
After dinner, Anders, Charlie and I headed down the trail to Round Lake. We moved down a unmarked trail the paralleled Seven Lakes Creek. I have a feeling that the trail we found heads all the way to Sol Duc Lake. It was too late in the evening to find the truth. We were only able to trek part way down. On the way back up I heard a large crashing through the underbrush to my right, in the area of the creek. I saw brush shaking and was certain that it was a bear. Sure enough, Anders pointed to him as he moved up the creek into the open. We watched him from afar the rest of the way up to Round Lake. He didn't look rushed, but easily outpaced us to the lake. I was able to take a short video of the experience. We must have watched him as we walked for twenty minutes. This was only the second bear I have seen in Olympic National Park, the other being south of Cape Alava on the coast. What a humbling way to end the day.

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