Hiking to Flytrip Lakes!
Another grand hike in Idaho! Well, once again, maybe not, disaster seems to be hovering over my activites like the proverbial 'thing' in the punchbowl.

Once again an attempt was made to access Flytrip Lakes. This time it was sans the hiking partner as she had other obligations. Since I was down now to Ezra & Mocha, the malcontent and the midget, I had to haul my old backpack out of storage, and assume some of the load-carrying myself. The day, however, was spectacular, and the trail beckoned. The miles clicked by, and before long I made it the 10 miles to the Timpa Creek intersection, passing a USFS trail clearing crew along the way.

A brief stab at lunch, and I was back on my way to the Flytrip Basin. At about 1-1/2 miles the trail crosses a very enthusiastic and COLD creek. As I was standing there analyzing the creek crossing (there absolutely was not any way of gaining this crossing with out the feet in water method), and I noticed that Ezra was missing. Missing?

Yes, Mocha and the two small boys were right at my back, but Ezra? The is PANIC time as he is carrying the entirety of my camping gear. I called and called, looked and looked, but no Ezra. I ended up hiking back to the Timpa Creek intersection where he reappeared, but he was breathing large sighs of relief as he had taken his time away as an opportunity to shed the gear. PANIC raises once again its ugly head, as I am 10 miles into the wilderness, it is mid-afternoon, and I have only my sleeping bag to my
name. So, back up to the creek crossing we go, looking for gear. Suffice to say that after trundling all the way back to the crossing, and returning to the intersection, slowly scanning for any sign of my departed gear.

Finding nothing, and with a very high level of disappointment, I reluctantly had to make the decision to return to the starting point. Remembering that aforementioned 'starting point' is 10 miles from where I am presently located, and it is now very late afternoon. Trudging along, I am immersed in thought as to what I am going to do. It is getting later and later, and it is patently obvious that I am NOT going to be able to make it to the trailhead before dark.

At one point, about 1 mile back from the Timpa Creek intersection, I passed the now RONing trail crew. Their horses were all hobbled out in the meadow, the trail crew relaxing behind a small copse of trees, and genuine pastoral scene, was it not?

That is until it became obvious that one of their horses was taking an undue interest in me and my goats, and in fact was rapidly advancing on us, hobbles notwithstanding. He was swinging his joined front feet in the air, and advancing with his hind legs. When he got up to us, he was swinging these hobbled weapons like a very large hammer, and I was screaming at him and smacking him in the face with my hiking poles. At some point one of the trail crew ambled out of the meadow, threw a rope around the horses neck, and lead him away. What did he say to me after this incident? NOTHING. If you would like to read the entire encounter as I published it in my magazine, it is here (a PDF).

At some point, with sundown having occurred quite a while back, it became obvious that I was going to have to RON out here on the trail whether I liked it or not. I threw my sleeping bag on the ground, the very HARD ground, definitely not 5-Star accomodations.

Next morning, continued this trek at first light, and the TH appeared in the distance around noon or so.

One interesting note... I have not seen a bear in all the time I have been hiking, about 20 years or so. While I was on a rest break on top of the granite outcropping that is 3-4 miles from the TH, out of the brush popped a small black bear. While he definitely got the goats attention in spades, he made no bones about the fact that he wanted one thing and one thing only... AWAY! And so he bolted on down the side of the hill and disappeared into the brush.

And so ended just one more attempt to reach these, at least so far, inaccessible lakes.

Contact: The Hiker... or the Goats!