On the first day of our hike, when we hiked out just a couple miles, I brought an idea up to Ambrose that I was certain I would have to argue him over to. See, I decided, on this trip, that we should be doing some warm-ups before we start backpacking for the day. Get the body, if not warm, then at least ready to move.

To my surprise, and delight, he agreed to my stretching proposition with no fuss at all. So, we started this on the morning of the 2nd day and managed to continue with it, varying only the order. 10 knee raises, 10 second holds of heel to butt each side, 5 back, down, up reaches, 5 leg swings sideways and forwards each leg. 5 arm circles each way. Trekking poles used for balance as needed.

The third day, we didn’t get up quite so early, because we only had a short – but steep – hike over to Johnson Lake.

Heading up towards the pass. 

Ambrose went ahead because he was ready to hike before I was. But I caught him quick enough.

I love the light touching the mountains.

The climb up to the pass wasn’t as long as I remembered. 

And the sun was coming up over the ridge quickly. 

I’m ready for the warmth of the sun on this chill morning.

At the top of the pass.

Heading down. 

I kept a close eye out for the junction to Johnson Lake – I was a bit worried it wouldn’t be visible.

But the cairns were stacked high by the trail junction and there was even a log if we didn’t want to walk through the gully – which probably has water earlier in the season, but was dry now.

We did have to cross this stream. 

And then we had to navigate through the semi-maintained trail to Johnson.

Johnson Lake was much as I remembered. Gorgeous and secluded. 

But also, clearly used. We did not use the fire pit, since it is technically illegal in the wilderness, but we also didn’t take it apart, lacking the tools to do so. 

We got to Johnson pretty early in the morning, and settled in for the day. Ambrose and I did some clothes washing, since there would be plenty of time to let the clothes dry through the day. I took some time to do the Arbor CrossFit booty challenge workout.

There were a lot of critters to watch, and a lot of critters watching us. Other than a deer that I saw as we were walking up, there weren’t any other animal sightings this time. We did see the same three backpackers from the night before who had asked for directions to Browns Lake. We directed them towards the outlet of Johnson for another campsite since we had taken the one closest to the trail.

It was a long, lazy day. Cooler than I preferred, but that just made it easier to hang out in the tent in the heat of the day. I did not go for a swim in Johnson; it’s one of the lakes that I haven’t yet dipped in up there.

Ambrose was thinking about staying another day at Johnson, but I insisted that we move on so we could continue our itinerary as planned. As it was, we were cutting off the side trip to Lake Everly because of the 2nd day’s delay. Another day at Johnson would mean cutting out another one of our stops from the loop, and I didn’t think Ambrose really wanted to do that.

I was right; he didn’t. So we planned to travel the next day to Pats Lake, which would be one of our harder days since we would have to lose a lot of elevation and then gain it all back again to get up there.

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