Another day to get some work done while taking advantage of the outdoors. The hike was going to take place along the Brewer OHV Route along Foster Ridge. The gate was still closed, so it was time to hike into the area.
The temperature was getting warmer as our hike went uphill for about 2.5 miles. The breeze kept both River and I cool as we make our way. The trail was dry for about 95% of this trek. Some of the low growing wildflowers were present, but it was very spotty. The last time I was here I drove in so hiking it allowed me to maintenance work.
Once the trail gets to the “top” it moves south and then turns north to get on the northern side of the mountain. A couple years back this was covered in snow. I was six feet off the ground due to the snow pack in this spot. Granted that was May and this was July! This time around it was about 3 feet deep on average and extended all the way down to the camping area and Brewer Lake.
We crossed the outlet and man did it stink. I smelt very bad like something was rotting. I recalled to the toilet up away from the camping area so did my work. Everything was fine, so maybe it was a dead animal carcass or something. The mosquitoes convinced us that we should not stay around long, so onward we went.
It was time for the first break of the day for snacks. I found a spot that was mosquito free and took advantage of it. An occasional mosquito would fine me, but nothing to worry about. The snack was a Clif Bar and then we were ready to continue moving east. An old trail is still present and has been marked with orange/pink flagging. The trail tread itself is still there, but the flagging in areas made it even more obvious. We followed it for about 5 minutes till we arrived at the next destination known as Tocher Lake.
The breeze receded along our way down to the lake. Upon our arrival the water was perfect for a photo. I grabbed a few and the breeze was back, which was a good thing. The mosquitoes had once again found us both. Once the work was complete I decided to move on to Beryl Lake, which was NE of Tocher. There wasn’t a trail on the map, but once again flagging, trail tread, and now blaze marks in trees guided us to our new destination.
The hike was rather simple to Beryl Lake. The hike was along the side of the mountain so views west down into the drainage stood out. Large slabs of granite bedrock were upslope of the trail. Soon the trail turned east and followed the drainage up to Beryl Lake.
As the trees receded back and the trail flattening, the lake was right in front of us. People had been camping in the area before hand as rock fire rings were all that remained. It was now almost noon and hunger for food slowed us both down to eat some food. I quickly grabbed some samples and walked away from the waters edge. Again the mosquitoes felt it was lunch time too so we were both targets of their hunger while at the shoreline.
The evening before we went out to eat and a Japanese Steak house where they grill all the food in front of you. Diana recommended I take some for lunch. What a great idea it was too as the food was perfect. Carb heavy and lean protein (salmon). It was very delicious and the view was great too. The food didn’t last long and instead of heading back, I decided to get one more lake.
The trail faded away once crossing the outlet. There was snow and a lot of down trees. We continued on and eventually had to climb uphill along slabs of rock. This made travel very easy actually. I soon noticed stacked rocks in places. As I drew near more and more of them lead uphill. I followed and noticed some of the trees had blaze marks. Sure enough a very faded trail still existed from Beryl to Coyote Lake. Travel was even faster and we were soon in the saddle of the ridge and on a gradual descent down to Coyote Lake.
On the way down to the lake we heard some chirping. Then a bird call kept on going. We kept to the old trail and a bird flew out from under a rock. I went up there to peak as the bird was still very close to the rock. I was surprised to see a small nest and a couple baby birds hatching. I snapped a photo and left the area so the mother could come back to keep her babies warm. Snow was spotty still as we finished the last few hundred yards to the late. The natural “red carpet” (i.e. pinkish flowers) directed us to the shoreline.
Coyote Lake now lay before us. The breeze was a lot stronger on the shoreline of the lake. The mosquitoes were very intense and I felt bad for River. They were after her a lot. After my sample collecting was done, I threw a stick into the lake for her to swim after. My hope was the cooling down of her body may help disguise her from the hoards of blood sucking insects. It did work, but she never retrieved the stick. She did not like the idea.
The time was early afternoon and there was another lake nearby. However, we needed to turn back around and make our 5 mile hike back to the truck. I think River was ready to get out of there as her fur began drying out. We made good time heading back the way we came.
On the way back I GPS’d the route. It was much easier to focus on where the trail was and staying on its path down to Beryl Lake. From Beryl Lake the trail was very easy to find back to Tocher and then to Brewer. Once we were at Brewer Lake, I stopped the GPS and followed the OHV road back to the locked green gate.
It was now very warm on the hike back downhill to the truck. The rocks and sandy road heated up in the afternoon sun. We took a break under a lonely tree as the hot ground was hurting River’s paws. I figured I needed to buy her some boots in the future. However, I showed her how to take advantage of shade along the route back. She zigzagged why I walked straight down the road. It made a world of difference for her and I was glad she caught on rather quickly. Before you know it, we were back at the truck and making our way down the mountain.