Sunday, September 7, 2014

Red Pine Lake

I recently wrote about our newly acquired backpacking gear.  Eager to use it in the real world, we asked around for good places to go backpacking.  We got lots of good ideas from friends and family that we will be using in the future.  My BFF Jared volunteered to go with us to one of his favorite places, which meant that the first place we officially went backpacking was Red Pine Lake.

It's a beautiful lake, and the trail head is up Little Cottonwood Canyon, so it's less than 45 minutes from our house which works perfectly for a Friday night hike after work.

The hike is about 3.5 miles and climbs a little over 2000 feet.  I have a few little stories and adventures to share so I've broken them into headings.  (Don't you just feel more comfortable knowing that all of the information falls into an organized structure?)

Cute Little Hikers
The hike starts out fairly easy.  It's not very steep at first.  This is the part where we looked vibrant, cute and precious, because we hadn't got all sweaty yet.
Look at those three precious hikers

Sometimes we pose with a mountain.

So much preciousness!

As we hiked further the sun began to set.  (It turns out it does that every evening, who knew?)  We stopped to snap some pics of the sunset looking down on the valley.

Regretting Squats
As we got further along on the hike, it started to get steeper.  This hike gets progressively steeper until you arrive at the lake where it flattens out.  As the hike got steeper, I began to regret that earlier that day had been leg day at the gym.  I was particularly regretting that I had done squats, so my legs were already sore and tired.  I'm not gonna lie.  I was a sad boy on the last half mile.

"Why is it always my bum?"
By the time we reached the lake, it was pretty late.  The sun had been down for a couple hours, so it was dark and cold.  We cooked our dinner and ate it looking out over the lake with its beautiful reflection of the moon.  (Alas, the iphone camera is pretty good, but it can't capture things like that.)  After dinner we got in our tent and went to bed pretty quickly.  We hadn't been laying in bed very long when suddenly Robyn yelled, "WHY IS IT ALWAYS MY BUM?!?!?".

I actually wasn't aware that it was always about her bum.  Despite that, I actually knew what she was talking about.  Her bum is always the first thing to get cold.  She was warm and snug in her sleeping bag, but her bum was still somehow managing to feel cold.  Naturally, that question became the theme for the rest of the trip.

Walking around the lake
The next morning I woke up early and both Robyn and Jared were still sleeping and looking precious.  I decided to do a little exploring and see what I could see.  I ended up walking all the way around the lake.  I loved how beautiful it was, and how it was such a perfect reflecting pool.

Hanging with the Pika
While I was walking around the lake, I came upon a pika.  I didn't actually know what a pika was before this trip, but I googled the animal I had seen when I got home and was able to figure it out.  They make a really loud chirping noise and they build huge nests with leaves.  I sat and watched this little guy scurry into the bushes and then come back with a branch or a leaf in his mouth, only to deposit it on his mound and repeat the process.  I watched him do this 3 or 4 times before continuing on my way.
Here he is on his mighty mound of leaves.

Fearless Chipmunk
When I got back to camp, we made breakfast and hung out for a while.  There was a chipmunk who must have smelled our food because he kept sneaking up and trying to check out everything.  He tried to crawl into my backpack, then he tried to crawl into my tent.  He also tried to crawl on Jared's face while he was laying in his sleeping bag.  (We don't actually know if he was going for the face.  But he got about 3 inches away before Jared yelled at it, "Hey chipmunk!  I'm right here!")  I didn't get a picture of the chipmunk because I was too busy trying to convince it that I'm so scary that it shouldn't chew through all of my new gear in search of food.

Chilling at a beautiful lake
After breakfast we spent a few hours just enjoying the beautiful nature all around us.
Just a couple of BFFs in nature.

And this is what we look like from the front.

Going home and walking like an old man
Finally it came time to go home.  We took a few precious pics on the way back.
I told her to pose with the changing leaves.

Just hanging out with the trees and the valley.

Once I got home and sat down for a bit, my body realized that I just carried a big backpack up and down a mountain.  My thighs, my calves and my hips all suddenly decided to be sore.  I'm pretty sure I'll be walking like an old man for a few days, but I guess that just means we need to do this more often so that I can handle it better.


  1. That was a great trip. I'm glad that we got some good chillin by the lake time. I do love a good adventure, and adventures are so much better with a BFF.

  2. Looks like fun, despite the sore muscles. My favorite place to backpack camp is at Jewel Lake in the Uintahs.


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