Indian Lakes

1-5 August 2006
by B. U. Gunda as told to Bill Finch

I saw my hiking partner, Bill, putting together his hiking gear and when he mentioned he was going to the Red Mountain Basin, my ears pricked up. I really enjoyed our trip to the Red Rock Basin in July and I had been to the Red Mountain Basin a few years ago. I thought that this could be a good trip even though it was going to last for five days. That would be the longest I had been away from home.

As usual, I was really nervous once the car started up the hill and I panted halfway to the trailhead. Then, I calmed down and took a nap. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Our destination was Fleming Lake. I had been there before so I was excited and hurried up the trail. The hike was a lot harder than I had remembered. There were a lot of uphill sections and I asked to be carried for a few stretches. On the other paw, everything was so green and fresh and it was a lot cooler than back home. I decided that this was going to be fun. I sure was tired when we got to Fleming Lake and I was happy that we didn't have to go any farther. Mt Hutton and Fleming Lk
Mount Hutton over Fleming Lake

As soon as the tent was set up, I went inside and took a nap. Bill tried to feed me dog food again, but I conned him out of some canned corned beef he was having for his dinner. I must have impressed him when I gobbled it down because he saved some of it for later. I made a mental note to put on my sad face again next time he offered me dog food.

The next day I acted like I was really tired. It must have worked because we took a rest day. We took some photos of flowers and scenery and we went on a little day hike up to Rae Lake, but that was about it. Rae Lk
Rae Lake and the LeConte Divide

It was great; I got to nap most of the day. It was the best of all possible worlds, almost unlimited nap time in the comfort of my own tent on our comfy sleeping bag. I had a feeling that this couldn't last forever, though.

Sure enough, the next day we packed up and moved to Rae Lake. Fleming Mtn
Fleming Mountain over Rae Lake

I have to admit, I liked this lake better than Fleming Lake, but I could have napped at Fleming just as well. As soon as the tent was set up and I was getting ready for a little shut eye, Bill started putting some stuff in his pack. I wasn't sure what was up but I soon found out it involved a lot of climbing and not on trail either. Fortunately, it wasn't long before we took a lunch break. I've got to admit, Bill picked a pretty good lunch spot and the Cheddar cheese was really good. lunch stop
This shallow tarn was on our way to the summit. Mount Henry is in the distance.

It got even steeper after that, not that I couldn't out climb Bill. For some reason, he just can't leap too well. Not only that, but he is a real wimp when it comes to friction climbing. When we reached the top of the ridge, I was feeling a little hot so I found some shade where I could chill for a while. shade
This was a great place to get out of the sun.

The next stretch was easy. Bill carried me over the large granite blocks on the ridge to the summit. Someone had built a wooden marker there and I took a well deserved rest. summit
It was nice of them to build me a place to sit down.

I'll bet we spent an hour up there, enjoying the view and the cool breeze. view
The view toward Rae Lake was wonderful. Mount Goddard and Mount Hutton were in the distance.

We went down the mountain a different way than we came up and it was a lot easier. It was so easy that I led some of the way even though there was no trail.

There was more excitement that day. Late in the afternoon, I saw the biggest dog I have ever seen. It looked almost like the Great Dane that lives across the street but its ears were bigger and it was a little taller. I growled a little but Bill told me it wasn't a dog at all. He said it was a doe, a deer, a female deer. deer
This was the first deer I had ever seen.

She circled by our campsite several times and even circled around us once. She seemed really gentle so I didn't get really nervous about her visits. We enjoyed a great sunset and finally got some rest. sunset
I love the end of the day. That means it's almost time to sleep some more.

We didn't get nearly enough sleep that day in my opinion. Not only that, but our sleep was interrupted in the middle of the night by some wild howling. It woke us up with a start but Bill assured me it was only a family of coyotes. I thought those howls sounded a little familiar.

I was ready to spend another beautiful day napping in the tent, but it was not to be. Bill packed up our gear and we headed north to look at the Indian Lakes. Lwr Indian Lk
Lower Indian Lake sure was pretty.

I had never been there before but Bill said it was a lot greener than the last time he was there. For the first time since day one, we met some other hikers. Tony had come over Thompson Pass and two ladies we saw told us they had taken a bath in Upper Indian Lake. U Indian Lk
Upper Indian Lake was even prettier.

I don't mind getting my feet wet crossing a stream, but bathing in ice water? I thought, "They must be crazy." Upper Indian Lake was really pretty and we got a chance to look down the chute at Mosquito Pass. I walked on the snow at the top of the pass, which is of course, no big deal. cornice
The cool snow felt good on my hot paws.

Bill seemed worried that I might go over the edge but I thought to myself, "Who is the sure footed one, huh?"

We returned the same way we came and I took over the lead for most of the rest of the day. I started up the turnoff to Rae Lake, but Bill said we weren't going back there. No big deal. The trail was downhill, so I could see it really well and it was pretty easy to find the way. Before long we were down at Fleming Lake, so I turned off the trail and headed to our camp of a few nights before, but Bill said we weren't going to stay there either. We took a short break at the outlet then headed to our next stop. It was a dry camp and I had stayed there once before. Bill stocked up extra water at one of the little streams we crossed. Once we got to our camp, we had a great view of the LeConte Divide to the east Red Mtn
It was getting pretty cloudy by the time we set up camp. Red Mountain and Hell for Sure Pass are in the distance.

and we could see Dogtooth Peak to the west. Dogtooth Pk
I've seen Dogtooth Peak from the other side when I hiked in the Dinky Lakes Wilderness.

I was glad when the tent was up because finally I could nap. We sure did a lot of walking on this trip and I was happy I could finally get some rest.

The corned beef, cheese, and beef sticks were a pretty good dinner. I thought that Bill might be holding out on me, so I tried to get him to give me some of his food. He was happy to offer it, but it really smelled gross, so I didn't even try it. I napped a little more until I started to hear thunder. Thunder and lightning usually freak me out when I'm at home, but it's not so bad if Bill lets me sit in his lap. It started sprinkling, so we both got in the tent. The rain got heavier and the thunder got louder, but for some reason the tent felt really snug so it didn't bother me. As a matter of fact, I managed to sleep through most of the thunderstorm which apparently lasted for almost two hours. Bill kept going outside to take pictures. rainbow
Every time Bill came back from taking pictures he was shivvering. I was comfy in the tent.

I thought to myself, "How could he possibly prefer taking photos to napping?" sunset
He kept taking pictures until it was almost dark.

The air was fresh and clean the next morning for our last day of the trip. clear day
What a beautiful day for our hike out.

The tent dried out in a hurry, we had breakfast and were on our way home. I led almost the whole way back to the car. After all, I had been on this trail several times before and knew its smells like the bottom of my paw. Wow, there sure were a lot of people on the trail. Bill explained that it was a Saturday and a lot of people started their hikes on that day. We must have passed by a dozen groups before we finished our final sprint to the car. I have no idea why Bill gets out of breath when I pick up the pace a little.

I was excited to get back in the car and looked out the window for the first twenty or so miles down the road. That got boring so I napped most of the rest of the way home. The other dogs were really happy to see us. They couldn't believe how I smelled. They could never guess what an adventure I had.


One Page Version 2 February 2013