Last time I was up at Scout Lake the lake was mostly frozen and I was rushed for time and did a quick tour. This time the goal was to find a spot (or two) for tents so we could bring Clara and Lex (Daryl's son) up for their first backpacking trip.
We got to the lake in about 45 minutes. It's a short, quick road walk and trail to the lake. We had thought to try to cut a new trail in the brush to bypass the double crossing of the creek, which I remembered as being a little sketchy. However, the water was really low so it was easy to walk the logs to get back to the trail.
I had thought to check out the north side of the lake for a spot to camp since the south side was all talus, but we found there was no good way across the outlet of the lake. It was dry (the water was all underground), but the thought of bringing the kids across was not appealing.
We found a couple of possible spots in the woods before the talus on the south shore, but certainly it wouldn't be ideal. And then there was the bug issue. Not just one or two or a million. More like billions. Tiny little black biting flies. Neither of us had bug spray so we spent a lot of time slapping.
Once we had at least a possible spot we decided to continue along the south shore. There's a cool spot that's been built out with walls and a relatively flat floor, but only room for one tent. Bummer. Especially since it had great views down to the lake and a kitchen where we could cook.
Near the far end of the lake we found a much better spot. Room for two tents, easy access to water. Sweet.
Both of us had fishing rods to test the water for the kids (of course). I waded out and after getting stuck in the mud I caught a small rainbow. Daryl caught a similar fish with his spin rod. Poor fish sucked the hook way down so he wasn't going to make it. Daryl packed him up for dinner. (We did actually eat the fish that evening. Yes, I tried it. No, I won't have trout again any time soon. Blech.)
From the lake, we followed the talus up the hill toward the ridge separating Scout Lake's basin from that of Annette Lake. The summit of the ridge is Humpback Mountain, which I've climbed in the past. We had several possible goals for the climb.
a) We're feeling good. Let's get to the first high point.
b) We're feeling really good, let's go to the next.
c) We're rocking. Let's hit Humpback Mountain and follow the trail down the other side.
On the way up we stopped at a rare patch of snow so Daryl could get some chill for Mr. Fish in his pack. The last push up the rocks was a little rough. Daryl suggested he needed goat's hooves to make it easier. I figured we could find a fetish shop somewhere in Seattle that would have what he needed and probably horns, too.
In the end, we felt only (a) "good" so after the high point we started back down. We angled toward the north end of the lake (opposite where we left the lake) and arrived almost right where we left it. All along, the flies were eating us alive. Slapping became second nature and many flies died that day.
We found two additional campsites along the north side of the lake, but they weren't as nice as the spot on the south side.
On the way out we saw oodles of flowers in bloom. The best were the Queen's Cups, which were blooming on the lower section of the trail and still just budding up by the lake. Unfortunately, the blueberries weren't quite ripe and didn't look like they were just a week or two away either. Bummer.
We got home five minutes before our promised time of 2pm and the girls (Amy and Michelle, Daryl's wife) promptly left us with the sleeping kids.
Total distance was about 4.34 miles and 1,865 feet of gain.