Since we hiked to Lake Nambe, Jen and I have had a plan in the works to hike to Lake Katherine. It is 16 miles and gains nearly 3300 feet, so you make it nearly to Baldy, which you should recall Bryan, Keithers, and I summited two years ago (me, just barely). So, we decided on Saturday. Mamie joined us, as well as Ted, Paige, John, Jess, and Dan! Because we were in a bit of a rush, Jen, Mamie and I headed out early, but they met us at the lake and we hiked back together. Unfortunately, Paige pulled a muscle very soon after leaving, so she had a long, very uncomfortable hike. She’s a trooper.
The hike is beautiful, especially when you get to the base of baldy and head down switchbacks to get to the lake. Incredible. The lake is lovely, and much more swimmer friendly than Nambe was. Jen was the only one brave enough to jump in, given a. it’s an alpine lake and almost Lake Superior temps, b. a storm was moving in, and c. we were at high elevation (11,700 feet) anyway! Meanwhile, I was layering up and cold as hell, but it did look refreshing. We all snacked together and lamented our sore feet and then hit the trail back. It took us about 4.5 hours to get there, and ended up taking a good five to return, I think. The dogs had a great time, especially at the lake. They hadn’t been swimming the entire summer, so they were WILD dogs that whole time.
On the hike in, Mamie and I discovered that we both know the fabulous Brenda Lilly, my friend and colleague from Esko. Mamie is graduating this year after a few years off, so she was in Oxford with Brenda in ’06! Brenda is the reason I applied to Bread Loaf. So grateful!