Because my knee is still a bit toasty from our Elephant Mountain hike, and still talking smack every time I go up or down the stairs, I encouraged my kids to choose a hike with the distance they wanted to go, but with a bit less up and down action.
Emerald/Heather Lake area is what they chose. I LOVE this trail. It is a beautiful winding trail for the most part, gentle ups and downs, gradual assents, and only one section that is steep, 10 switch backs with a 400 foot elevation gain. Totally doable. 5 1/2 miles in and 5 1/2 miles out.
Gorgeous day, crazy wildflower meadows, lunch, and a great high country lake swim. That felt so damn good I can’t even describe it completely. Yes I can, I was so stoked the moment I hit that water! Super clear water, super cold, and just what we all needed. Renn maybe not as much 😉
The only thing we weren’t prepared for were the flesh eating, biting, sucking flies. Horse flies, deer flies, you name it, they were out for blood. It was intense in a few areas, and as we were hiking up and sweating, we were also slapping ourselves and killing a bunch, but just as many were biting us. For a short while I left the dead ones on me hoping it would send a clear message to the others, stay back or die! It didn’t, they took it as an invitation to party. I started to feel like Marlon Brando in The Apocalypse, “the horror … the horror”.
But the real treasure, we saw two wildflowers that I haven’t seen for some time, Lewis’ Monkey Flower, and Elephants Head. That was special.
I am not hobbling, so I am taking that as a good sign. The kids loved it and want to go back. Me too, and maybe with Story or $eeker next time. Nancy