|Campsite all cleaned up at Chamberlain Airstrip. We’re ready to go.
|No wrong direction this time; we’re headed straight to Red Top Meadows.
|We came down here the prior day to get water. Now we’re going to cross on those convenient logs to the left.
|The moon is still out!
|No hiding behind ridges from the sun this morning.
|It’s break time, Ambrose! Have a seat.
|Chamberlain Creek below the trail.
|It seems like we reached this stream crossing in record time.
|Sure, I can walk across logs. Just not these logs.
|Ambrose walking across logs with my hand trying to cut out the sun glare. To be fair, there’s no sun glare in the photo, just a chunk of my hand.
|Onwards to the meadow.
|I could totally cross on this log. Okay, it’s a little narrow, I’ll just do a sit and scoot.
|Nope. I tore my pants wide open at the crotch and bailed about halfway through as Ambrose watched (graciously not laughing). I took my boots off while on the log and then let myself down into the thigh deep water.
|We stopped here for a break. I sewed up my pants and lost Ambrose’s sewing needle, but, by some miracle of sunlight, I managed to find it just after I gave up on looking.
|One of those notches on the horizon is our route up to Fish Lake.
|Gotta follow this sign.
|But maybe someday we’ll go explore what lies beyond our turn off in the rest of Red Top Meadows.
|Just enough shade on the trail for lunch here.
|A lunch view overlooking Fish Creek.
|The light triangle near the middle of the frame is Sheepeater Mountain, and the tiny dot on top of it is the lookout.
|That’s enough shade to take a break in, especially in the early afternoon when shade is scant.
|The trail seemed greener this year. That might have been because we were traveling in July instead of August, or because this year was a heavy rain/snow year. Or both.
|What a lot of shade, perfect for a break. The longer you’ve been backpacking, the more dirt looks like a comfortable seat.
|Oh, oh, we’re almost at the Fish Creek crossing.
|No fish, but I did find a frog in the creek.
|Ambrose about to cross Fish Creek. He did see some fish in it while getting water for our last push up to Sheepeater Lake.
|Break time. This shade had the bonus of some logs on the side of the trail that were perfect for putting my feet up.
|We ran into a group of three people and a dog after the break and before crossing the outlet. They were from Utah and hiking the opposite direction. It was a surprise to find people on the trail.
|We made it to Sheepeater Lake – and before dinner!
|And this year, instead of wandering around lost in bogs, crossing logs, I followed my instincts and turned away from the lake on what looked like a path. There, I found an old fire ring, proof that others had used the spot for camping.
|Dragonflies at the lake.
|Ambrose filtering water at Sheepeater Lake.
|Patches of snow lingered around the rim of the ridge.
|Ambrose has discovered an incredible tool for getting a flat spot for our stove – a problem that has vexed us both for years. He took the top from our pot, which rarely gets used, flipped it upside down and set the stove on it. Genius!
|Not a bad pitch for the space constraints. I did have to clear out a lot of pine cones from beneath the space, but it worked out well. We felt reasonably secure, even though we could hear wolves howling across the lake.