Sunday, January 13, 2013

Louie Lake and Boulder Lake Hike

Carma, Amanda, Mom and I planned a fun hike for Labor Day weekend. Carma had done a backpacking trip with her young women up to our old haunt, Boulder Lake. She had read about a trail that connected Boulder and Louise Lakes and we all agreed we could do a six mile hike. When I told Cathi about it, not mentioning the mileage, she questioned whether we should take Mom on such a hike. She had done the hike from Boulder Lake to Louise Lake the previous year and recalled it as being strenuous. I just laughed her off, telling her that she had gone the long way.
Creek crossing on Louie Lake Trail

Mom crossing the creek
 We decided to do the hike from the Louise Lake side so that we could find the Louie at the Lake letterbox series in the correct order. Cathi had found them backwards and another letterboxer recommended that it was difficult to find them going the opposite way.
The trailhead to Louie and Boulder Lake are in the same parking area. We parked near the start of the Louie Lake trail and donned our day packs. We took the dogs, of course, and they were excited to be going. They must have crossed the creek at the beginning of the trail three or four times, getting in the way as we attempted to keep our feet dry. I gave Mom trekking poles, which proved to be wonderfully appropriate.

Finding the first of the Louie Lake four letterboxes was fast and easy. We climbed a further up the trail and came to an exceedingly steep stretch. Upon reaching the top of this stretch, we found that we had passed by box number two. None of us wanted to go back down that stretch, as we had a long ways still to go, so we logged into box number three and continued on to Louie Lake. 
Tali taking a break at box 3

The road continuing up to Louie Lake was dusty, the dirt billowing up over our shoes. One nice thing about this weekend seemed to be the lack of people. We only saw a few fishermen on this side of the mountain. 
Amanda topping the little rise for our first view of Louise Lake
Louie Lake from box 4 

After logging into the fourth and final box of the Louie Lake series, we continued around the lake and up the trail. We climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed. It was a good thing that the dogs had all taken advantage of the cool water of Louie Lake, because there was no water on the long (five mile!) hike between the two lakes.
Carma watching the dogs swim at Louie Lake


Resting under a tree
Continuing up the trail

On the downhill side

After a long dry walk, we finally started down to Boulder Lake. The dogs were hot and tired, and so were we. But we were only halfway there. We still had to reach Boulder Lake, walk all its length down to the dam, and then follow the trail two miles back down to the trailhead.

Boulder Lake
Even Blew was tired by the time we headed down the trail. While waiting for us to traverse the rocky, rocky trail, Blew kept laying down to take rests. Sometimes, she would lay down right in our way and refuse to move. I've never seen her so tired.

 Even though the hike turned out a lot longer than we had planned. We had a really enjoyable time. I had planned on planting a letterbox at Bouder Lake, but was too tired to hike any further than down the trail. So, Carma and I took another trip to McCall in October, hiked to find box 2 of the Louie at the Lake Series, and planted "My Mountain" at Boulder Lake.

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