I've been begging Devin for years to go backpacking but the summers just haven't aligned with freedom from babies or pregnancy so even though everyone was sick for our sixth anniversary, we decided to celebrate this weekend with a trip to Shirts Lake, near Cascade, ID. Our awesome babysitter was available to watch our kids overnight and we were back within 24 hours, short and sweet!
After kissing our kiddos good-bye and a bumpy ride up to the trail head, we started our descent from the trailhead at about 6:15 pm. Devin thought he'd be able to hike without his shoes tied ;)
I thought this rock was so cool, Devin thought this rock was the perfect opportunity to pull some good faces! Since we started hiking so late it was almost golden hour while we were hiking, which made the scenery that much prettier. It started to darken a bit more the lower we got so picture taking while hiking was tricky but we got some good ones.
Devin saw a deer run across the little meadow down behind us and into those grove of trees on the left. The natural spring that ran down the mountain made everything so green and tons of wildflowers grew everywhere, it was no wonder that's where the deer made their home!
It was only about an hour of hiking until we reached the lake and another 15 minutes to find a campsite. We got the tent up in a jiffy and Devin made busy unpacking while I explored :) We figured we'd get some fishing in too before we ran out of daylight.
Devin saw these mountain lion tracks near where we were fishing. Thankfully that was the only trace of them we saw! We also found out later that there is only one giant fish left in the lake that has eaten all of the trout and other fish so obviously we didn't catch anything. Still an incredibly relaxing night fishing while the sun went down. When it got dark we went and sang some songs by the lake and started seeing little frogs coming up to the shallow part of the water, the kids would have loved that!
Then Devin worked his magic with his camp stove that he was nice enough to pack in because there was a fire ban. We got some water from the natural spring and boiled it for our Mountain House lasagna meal that we shared. It was SO good, the tomatoes in it seriously tasted like they were from the garden. Freeze drying has got to be the BEST method of preserving.
I was also excited to be there for a full moon because the reflection of the moon on the mountains and lake were awesome. However, the moon coming up behind the trees was better than any pics I was able to take of it all the way up in the sky :/ I'll have to learn how to do that.
The picture above is what we saw looking up from our campsite, and the picture below is the next morning looking out to the lake from our campsite, it felt really cozy and I didn't even freeze!
(unlike the last many times we've gone camping)
Morning faces! :)
After much needed sleeping in, we realized we'd have to hustle a bit that morning if we wanted to get back when we said we would. Luckily this little 3 man tent is a lot easier to put away than our 10 man
Our friends told us about this hike, lake, and awesome cliff jumping spot - which I had seen countless videos of kids as young as 10 years old jumping off of so I couldn't leave without doing it! This was the face Devin gave me when I asked if he wanted to jump off a cliff into mountain lake water at 9:30 am, hehe. He totally regrets not doing it though...next time!
Thankfully he decided to be a pretty good looking photographer instead.
He's like, can we go now? :) We really would have loved to stay the whole day and swim and enjoy the beautiful lake so we're excited to come again but we're glad we were able to start hiking out before it got too hot.
By the end I was feeling really happy I packed next to nothing. Here we are SO happy to be done with those steep climbs and ready to eat some lunch!
Stopped in Horseshoe Bend at Sonora for Mexican food and their chips and salsa were some of the best I've had in my life! Maybe because everything tastes better after camping ;) We were just feeling VERY refreshed at this place. And note to self: get all of the water out of your ears before jumping into the lake a second time and then again after that. The change in altitude hiking out and then driving back to Boise was doing a number on me but taking this break and getting fed was so helpful. Pin It