2003 garnet lake

ALL-TROUT 2003:  The Great Rains
Garnet Lake
Agnew Meadows to Garnet Lake via Shadow Lake
August, 2003
Charles, Rick, Steve


This is one of the few Walking Trout trips without a log. Found in the original tomes are two pages of bullet-point recollections, written in 2004 while sitting in Charles’ truck during a rainstorm (see the 2004 trip summary).

Day 1: The Short Hike to Shadow Lake

The Clouds Portend

This was a moderate hike to Shadow Lake, a pretty and wooded lake populated by an infinite number of mosquitoes. [Walking Trout commentary: upon our return to the shores of this beautiful lake in 2007, we stopped for a relaxing lunch and encountered not a single bug.] We hiked into the rain, and this writer is pleased to note that his rain gear performed extremely well (although it made him look like he was wearing trash bags). Charles and Rick weren’t as lucky. There were numerous pretty waterfalls along the way.

Into The Mist

Along The River TrailBelow Shadow Lake

Below Shadow Lake

Frodo And Sam Return The Ring To Mordor

Shadow Lake

Shadow Lake Camp

Shadow Lake Inlet

Day 2: The Not-So-Short Hike To Garnet Lake

This writer is responsible for misreading the altitude changes on the map, and informed Charles and Rick that the hike would be very easy with little altitude gain. Whoops! It was actually a strenuous hike with considerable gain.

En Route To Garnet Lake

The rain was back, and brought its friends, lightning and thunder, just as we were traversing a barren, exposed rock-face above the tree line. We were all concerned about the lightning. We walked along hurriedly in silence, eager to get off the crest, keeping 20 yards or so between us so that a lightning strike hopefully would take out only one of us.

We found a good camp spot at Garnet Lake, up on a bluff overlooking the lake. It was somewhat protected by the rain, and we actually pitched our tent on one of the few dry spots in the entire basin. Rick had a touch of altitude sickness, but we avoided repeating the night-hike as in the 2001 trip.

Self Photo At Garnet Lake

The Clouds Return

Day 3: Layover at Garnet Lake

Given our poor luck with the rain, and Rick’s bout with altitude sickness (an unfortunate malady for someone who had himself traversed much higher altitudes while in Tibet), we decided to layover at Garnet Lake rather than press on to Thousand Island Lake.

Charles With A Bait Rod?!?

This writer caught some nice rainbow trout, which we cooked and placed on tortillas Charles had brought, after first toasting them on a Y-shaped stick held over the fire. We added Taco Bell hot sauce, and marveled that we were enjoying impromptu fish tacos at 10,000 feet. We capped the day by having a long, relaxing fire, high up on our bluff.

Garnet Lake Fish Taco Company, Inc.

From Lake To Frying Pan In 5 Minutes

Tortilla Chef

Garnet Lake Camp
(Charles’ Fly Rod In Foreground)

Charles Sits Time Out

Rick Is Pleased With His Fire

Day 4: The Hike Out

[Walking Trout commentary: there are no notes for this day, however, it is fairly certain the adventurers hiked out of the mountains and returned safely home. This writer recalls hiking out of the Garnet Lake basin down a very steep and extended chute-like trail, and remarking to his comrades “I never will hike UP this trail.” Of course, this writer did hike up that very trail three years later, during the 2006 trip, and is extremely glad he did so.]

Rick Fords The Creek