(this golden-mantled ground squirrel's tongue makes it look like he's wearing lipstick!)
21 August (Day 2)
After getting stuff together, meandered up to Lake Peak, where the elusive Himalayan Snowcock hangs out (that's for the bird nerds). No luck with the HISN but I did hear chukars nearby. The hike was really pretty (younger bristlecones scattered around) and the lake was a looker. There were handfuls of golden-mantled ground squirrels and chipmunks around - some babies too. Also heard pikas! (pictures of them to come).
(baby golden-mantled ground squirrel below)
I talked to some locals camping near the lake and found out no permit was necessary...good to know. There were some pretty serious looking storm clouds rolling in on the hike back down. Had some lunch once we got to the car and had to wait out the rain for a couple hours. I eventually got bored waiting and saw some guy at the trailhead with a big pack on so I decided to get some info (weather and trail stuff). He proved to be quite helpful.
It was still raining a little bit and thunderheads were looming but I made the executive decision to just go for it. It was already about 4 30 pm, so we kinda needed to get going. It wasn't a very long hike up to where we were headed but there was a good 2.5 miles straight uphill (the lake we were going to was around 9700 feet I think). Lots of good thunder and a little bit of lightening that I chose to just ignore. My raingear definitely made itself useful!
(Little Elephant's Heads above, storm clouds making their way towards us below)
The rain had died down by the time we got to the lake, which is good cause I really don't much care for setting up camp in the rain. I heard pikas nearby and went to investigate white I filtered water....PIKAS! I saw 4 and heard a few more. Excellent. Scenic Sunday
Made some dinner and tea and by the time it started getting dark, the rain started up again and along with it came some pretty gnarly wind. After a couple hours though, the skies cleared up nicely and the night sky put on a good show. I forget if it was a full moon, but it was close either way. I got out of the tent in the middle of the night and wandered around a little bit in the moonlight, which was crazy bright - good stuff!