This was back in June. I’m playing catch up. I vaguely remember this hike—pictures help. The hike was Talapus Lake. Let’s see what I can pull from the noggin.
It was a Friday and I was concerned about parking. Like usual. We were meeting friends at 10am. And it was a sunny, warm summer day. I had a feeling the parking lot would fill up, especially since prior trip reports I read commented about parking along the road since the lot fills up quickly. We scored the last spot in the lot before our friends arrived. They scored a spot in the lot also; a car left a few minutes before they arrived. I always worry for nothing. But as my mom says, the things you worry about never happen. So if I don’t worry about things, then I should be worried?! Eh, whatever. I’ll always worry about the smallest of things.
We parked. Our friends parked. We set off on the trail. The trail is clearly marked and well-maintained. The sign must be broken because there was (maybe still) a laminated sheet of paper stapled to a wooden pole with the trail name. Maive started on foot but I ended up putting her in the hiking backpack. Saige and Baby—and their buddies—footed it just fine. Their toddler sister was in her hiking backpack also. Six kiddos, a small group for us, haha. The trail is easy, with some uphill but at a gradual incline. Switchbacks and all. We eventually made it to a bridge, crossing over a creek.
A polite sign. And a bridge.
It was cool seeing snow still on the ground. Literally and figuratively. It was a tad chilly as we crossed the bridge. Which makes sense, given the snow hadn’t melted yet. At the end of June. Not long after the bridge, the turn off trail to Talapus Lake is on the left.
Snow! And the start of skunk cabbage.
At the lake we found a nice spot to sit while the kiddos explored. Like the WTA trail description says, there are Gray Jays who were up in our grill. Camp robbers they’re also called. I understand why. The kiddos enjoyed tossing food crumbs to them, along with an overly friendly chipmunk who lucked out not getting an official nickname. As we sat there while the kiddos explored and fed the critters, a pup walked up and sat in the lake. A husky. He was probably hot. Sweet guy. I can’t remember his name but it was something cute, like Drago but that’s not right. He was friendly and cute and all, but I’m still a fan of dogs on leashes. Especially on hiking trails.
A camp robber and a hiking pup!
As we sat long the lake, we could see and hear people on the other side. But we couldn’t see a way to get there. And they had a tent. Campers, clearly. We briefly looked around the lake to see if there was a trail that went over there. No luck finding anything. The kiddos moved to another spot along the lake and we followed. There was a tree trunk that caught the kiddos’ attention, and each took a turn climbing on the sucker. Another dog appeared off-leash, and then a solo college-aged hiker whom the dog was with. After the kiddos gave the pup some love, we decided it was time to head back down. We left the critters with some more crumbs, loaded the toddlers in their hiking backpacks, and started the trek back.
Back across the bridge, we noticed a sign for campers. That’s how one would get to the campsites across the lake. Noted. Not that I camp but good to know. I suppose we could have headed that way to check it out but we didn’t.
The trail. A few trees were (are still?) down over the trail. And I’m a sucker for visible tree roots.
Going back always feel quicker. Even though it takes about the same amount of time. Not just with hiking. Driving 12 hours to California feels like it takes 12 hours. Driving 12 hours back from California feels like it takes maybe eight hours? Weird.
Back at the parking lot we parted ways for home. It was a successful, fun hike. As we drove out of the lot, the road was lined with cars for a good way down. Perhaps worrying about parking was a legit concern.