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Heiser and Bull Run Lakes

Day 3 of 3

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Monday, August 24th
Bull Run Lake to Mosquito Lake
3.4 miles
800 vertical feet (ascent)
1070 vertical feet (descent)

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GPX File

We woke up to blue skies in the morning, not a cloud in the sky. After all the mice scurrying about last night, we checked our gear and discovered that one of them had nibbled a hole into our dirty laundry bag. That isn't the first time animals have gone after our stinky clothes. They didn't take anything, though. I think we scared them off before they could do any real damage.

I went over to the lake to get some water to filter. While there, I saw a fish jump out of the water. Or rather, I heard it jump and saw the ripple in the lake. Not sure how good the fishing is here.

Reflections in Bull Run Lake

Bull Run Lake

We didn't have much food left for lunch, but we did have plenty of oatmeal and hot chocolate left. The fact that kids are picky about what they eat sort of messed up my whole food plan. In an effort to maximize our food usage, I ended up stuffing myself at breakfast, eating 3 1/2 packages of oatmeal and 2 1/2 hot chocolates. I figured we couldn't easily eat them on the trail, and I'd eat less later so that everyone else could eat more later.

Granite island in Bull Run Lake

Bull Run Lake

Camping area at Bull Run Lake (campfire ring and sitting logs on right)

We finally saw some day hikers come by with their dog around 10am, the first people we'd seen since around 4pm yesterday. We packed up our camp and finally left a bit after 11:30am. We immediately stopped by the edge of the lake for a snack and enjoyed the lake. As I sat on the granite, looking out across the lake, I thought to myself that everyone else was stuck at work on a Monday while we had this whole lake to ourselves (the day hikers had already left).

Enjoying the lake on a Monday morning

Panorama of Bull Run Lake
(Click image to view full size)

Back on the trail, we headed down the hill the way we came yesterday. This rocky part of the trail was not too bad. Near the pond above the switchbacks we saw two backpackers coming up the trail. After descending the switchbacks, we started the cumbersome task of descending another rocky section of trail, this one much harder than the first. My son commented that it was harder going down than coming up, and he was probably right, since you constantly have to keep yourself from slipping on the way down. Of course, if you're hiking with kids, they're probably going to fall down once in a while. This is why we make them wear cycling gloves while hiking.

Pond reflection

We finally made it down this section of trail and then continued on the relatively flat trail through the forest back to the trail intersection at 1.3 miles. Along the way we encountered another pair of backpackers coming up. They'd be the last people we would see on the trail today, which I guess might have been due to the fact that it was a Monday.

We stopped at the trail intersection at 2.0 miles for another snack break. We were now down to beef jerky, dried cherries, and a little kool-aid. I knew the toughest part was just in front of us now. We turned right and headed uphill. The climb is steady at first, but then reaches that super steep rocky section of trail we had gone down yesterday. We slowly made our way up, reached the top, then shortly came to the Heiser Lake intersection for the third time in 3 days.

After another snack break we started the final 1.4 miles back to the trailhead. It was pretty uneventful and we made pretty good time here, with just one more snack break. We polished off all our food except for a handful of dried cherries, but we were fine. We cheered when we finally saw Mosquito Lake near the end of the trail.

Mosquito Lake

We were back at the car around 4:15pm. We changed clothes, then drove down to Angels Camp for dinner. We were back in the Bay Area by 9:15pm, just in time for me to watch the last couple innings of the Giants' horrific 14-inning loss to the Rockies.

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