Lost Lake Hike

Story and photos by Mike Whiteley - July 2008

It was a long hot hike up to our first camp, following along the North Fork of the Big Thompson River. Through a lovely pine forest we hiked, some of us on our first backpacking trip it was slower going than we planed and it was just about dark when we reached camp. Cooking dinner for everyone in the dark was more of a challenge but it all worked out in the end as we had a nice dinner. One of the facts of backpacking is the challenge of completing the simple tasks of life amongst the wilderness.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

- Henry David Thoreau

Day two had us hiking up to Lost Lake about the time we got there it started to rain and rained most of the way back to camp. Making for a more difficult day but still a wonderful hike to a beautiful high alpine lake just below tree line. Our second camp high above the other camp had a wonderful view of the valley up to the lake and the forest.

"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools."

- John Muir

In the next few years many of the trees we walked through will die from the Pine Bark Beetle possibly from the effects from global warming. As we go through our life the decisions that we make have far reaching consequences on the entire world including the wilderness. Itís up to us to live in ways that are as harmonious with nature as possible. Each of us can make changes within our lives that will help the world around us.

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."

- Ansel Adams

One of the most profound changes that we will ever see in the world is coming in the next few years and it is more important than ever that our government pulls its head out and takes a leading role in dealing with these problems. The up coming elections offer us a chance to effect real change and start to make some progress on the problems that may change our world for ever.

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."

- Rachel Carson

Not only is the beauty of the forest that we walked through in danger of changing forever but our way of life as we know it may be changed as well. It is up to all of us to make smart decisions and force our government to lead us forward with grace and compassion that we can be proud of. It is up to us to live simply and effect change.