Happy Mountain Monday, everyone! As you all know, I'm a fanatic for backpacking, hiking, and all things mountains so it's about time I started adding some of these views and stories to my feed! (Almost) every Monday, I'll be showcasing various trips I've done; some will be from years ago or just the other day. May your Mondays be a little brighter!
This particular trip to Island Lake (one of the many) in the Beartooths was actually an accident. Not the act of backpacking, but the destination. A friend told me I should go, and as I looked it up on the map, I made my plans. It was not a strenuous hike but still offered plenty of elevation gain and several groups of people to boot. Lucky for me, most stopped at the larger Mystic Lake, right below Island, so as I continued to hike along its banks, the crowds dwindled.
My friend had told me not many people come here and as I approached, I could see why. There was an intensely jumbled mess of downed trees that stretched over 100 feet across the river. We had a heavy snow year with recent rains, so the water levels were higher than normal and the water was rushing by underneath. To say that the crossing was sketchy would be the biggest understatement of the year ...
I set up camp atop a knoll and made my way down to the water for an afternoon of relaxing. I wrote in my little pocket journal, learned my surroundings via map and compass (this mountain is unnamed), and befriended the Ranger that was camping nearby (the only other person around). We sat on this sandy little beach for a few hours, chatting away the time and watched this sunset take place. It was at this point that I learned I was at the "wrong" Island Lake, according to the one my friend suggested, but I felt I was exactly where I needed to be.
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