Rock Creek is still singing when I get up. The clothes on the line are mostly dry. Soon, the kids stir. I climb the hillock nearby and shoot pictures of clear reflections in the lake as it stretches like a polished slab of glass dotted with marsh grass.
Breakfast this morning is hash browns with scrambled eggs. Daphney helps getting the food ready. We cast for fish again, but like last night, they remain spooked. The kids enjoy climbing for the boulders, proud of themselves that they crossed the stream on a fallen tree and made it to the other side.
We pack up and head up the trail and have lunch at Heart Lake. The kids find it hard to make the uphill climb, but soon, we’re walking along a flat section flanking Box Lake. This would turn out to be one of my favorite sections of the trail. The path is high and wide open. Below to the left is Box Lake. In front, the mountain range frames the horizon. The kids run ahead.
Soon, we’re at Long Lake, our destination for the day. We arrive very early, around 2:00 in the afternoon. Everyone soaks their feet in the refreshing water. The northern shore, around the lake’s outlet, is packed with campers, so Tyler and I go scouting again. There is a small meadow where the lake drains. There are also a few dirt patches. None of these are acceptable; but high above, on a private bluff, there is a small, picturesque area for two small tents with a nearby flowing creek for easy water access. This is the spot!
The routine is the same again, but before dinner, we head down the banks to fish.
I hear my name: “Dr. Wongworawat!”
It’s Damien and his party. So, they did make it on the trail and ended up here. We shared trail stories, and I learn that Allen did backpack in as well, and he is supposedly camped near Heart Lake.
We catch some brook trout. Daphney is only allowing catch-and-release, so that is what I do.
The routine continues. We have egg drop soup and spinach noodles for dinner. Afterwards, we watch the moon rise and cast silvery reflections on Long Lake while colorful clouds, first white then pink then purple, lazily drift by.