Close Encounters on the Wild Side: red squirrel, loon, minnows, coyote scat, ticks. Oh god, the ticks.
|But look - a loon! Honest! Not a black and white spot on the camera lens.|
After a super yummy breakfast of french toast and coffee, we do a final gear check and then hop in the shuttle for a ride to our starting point. The idea will be to walk about twenty-five miles along the Border Route Trail back to Clearwater Lake Lodge, where my dad's Jeep awaits to drive us back home. On our trip out there, our driver tells us about the Rottweiler he used to have an what a nice dog it was (dog lovers - they're everywhere, man). This lets me forgive him for wishing us thunderstorms - "no offense, but we could really use it." Or at least, I forgive him in that moment, because half a mile into our hike, it starts to rain.
|Our starting point. Rubi loves the grasses, omnomnom.|
|Pretty, but wet.|
The girls don't fair much better. I packed them winter coats instead of rain gear, and before long, they're soaked. As soon as we stop moving, they start shivering. We all push ourselves harder than we should, and practically exhaust ourselves in the five miles to our first campsite on Topper Lake.
My first order of buisness is setting up the clubhouse -er, I mean "tent" and getting the girls dried off and warm. I towel them down, pop them in the tent, throw on their coats and wrap them in their sleeping bag. They still look wretched, and I start questioning my decision to bring them along at all.
|"This look? This is hate . . . feel the warmth of our hate, crazy lady."|
|Topper Lake, as seen from our campsite.|
|Topper Lake from our campsite, just facing the other direction.|
Suddenly, the wet seems worth it.
|South Lake (I think) on the other side of the trail from Topper.|
|Piper and Rubi in front of South Lake, North Lake in the distance (I think).|