This was kind of a last minute, 'Hey we have an extra day, let's hike into Farley Lake!' By all rights, we should have questioned the wisdom
of that plan after perusing the Alice-Toxaway-Farley trailhead. And noting that there were dozensand dozens of cars there, obviously parked there by folks
with much the same idea as we had. What caused me to 'stay the course', is that in a normal scenario, 60-70 percent of the folks would be
going to Alice, the rest going to Toxaway, and the only ones ending up at Farley would be ones that would be RONing there on an Alice,
Toxaway Loop hike. How wrong I was, or maybe it was just that there were so bloody many folks on the trail that there had to be at least a
few that would end up at Farley, a location with precious few camping spots available.
After seeing the gaggle at the TH, we opted to venture to the Yellow Belly Lake TH instead. This TH connects with the Farley-Toxaway trail after a
couple of miles of hiking down the south edge of Yellow Belly Lake, and is generally ignored by the hiking public.
So we eventually got onto the Farley Lake trail, minus the excessive company, and after a potful of climbing and a 'change the shoes' river
crossing, we arrived at Farley. Great, now where to camp, as it seemed that all the available spots were already spoken for. Bugger!
Initially I made the decision to venture on, but after considering the continuing altitude increase ahead, the fact that we were facing eminent darkness,
and noting that hiking partner was giving signs of 'fallout', I turned around, left Farley in the rear view mirror, and hoped that we could find
something suitable before the rapidly advancing darkness. God is good, as always, and in an answer to prayer, a suitable trailside location
appeared much sooner that I would have thought. So dinner it was, tents up, and time to become horizontal. That is after setting up the highline
for the goats, and getting the food hung, something that finding a suitable branch for can sometime take a long spate of searching.
The morning appeared sunny and warm, so after breakfast, and after one aggressive dog encounter (dogs, especially like this large, husky-type,
just love to chew for a while on goat jugulars) we hit the trail for a very pleasant hike out.
The waterfall was beautiful, but note well the destruction on either side of this heavy-duty creek. In this area, and for about 1/4 mile, it was obvious that last winter's heavy snowpack had dispatched an avalanche into this area, and the destruction was unbelievable.
A view of the White Cloud mountains from near Farley on the trail. It is a little hard to distinguish from this size of a picture, but at the left end of this mountain range is an all-white group of mountians that gave the 'White Clouds' its name.
Another view of the valley below, with Yellowbelly Lake just barely visible.
Yellowbelly Lake itself. Pristine, super-clear water.
Contact: The Hiker... or the Goats!