Robin Lake, with mountain goats

12:55 p.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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So children 1-4 (#5 stayed home) and I took a three day trip to Robin and Tuck Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to avoid the 100 degree heat at home.  The stats:

Trailhead: 3419 ft

Tuck Lake: 5279 ft

Robin Lake: 6190 ft

Trail: 5-7 miles, no idea really

Ages of the kids: 6 (and a half she reminds me) to 13

Also brought Noel the Wonder Dog.  We saw the south end of a northbound b bear as we neared the TH.  Is it wrong that I consider Noel as the "Sacrificial Dog," meaning that one of her functions is to find bears and cougars and keep them occupied while us two-legs make good our escape?

 

Taking a break and enjoying the view of Mt Daniel and Cathederal Rock
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Near Camp.  All 5 of us kinda slept in my 3-man tent.
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Little Tuck Lake, Tuck Lake proper is behind the trees, we liked camping by the smaller one b/c it was more private.  Fantastic swimming.  Our neighbor Troy let the kids try his slingshot, he offered $100 if the kids could hit someone on the far side of the lake, until practice revealed that this was a distinct possibility. 
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Child #1 and #4 bouldering on granite that was like velcro.  I felt like spiderman it was so clean and gritty.
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Saturday we and Troy climbed and bushwhacked up the ridge to Robin Lake for a day trip.  Child #3 found a cave to cool off in.
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Robin Lake is possitively infested with salt-deprived goats who will follow you around to watch you pee then fight over it.  They also munch boots and pack-straps.   I watched one take off with a guy's sock.  They will walk up to within six feet of people.  I know, I know, GOATS HAVE KILLED PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON!  I kept the Wonder Dog away while the kids took pictures of the goats. 

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These pictures were NOT taken with a zoom lens.
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The goat kids were pretty cute, especially when they nursed ot bleated. The goat kids reminded me of mine as they scampered over the rocks. 
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The first rule of Goat Fight Club...
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#4 in the foreground
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#4 again, with goats
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This one REALLY wanted me to leave it some salt. 
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#3 fetching water for cooking lunch at Robin Lake, which was 80% frozen still
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#1 cooking lunch, Robin lk in bkgd
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Near Robin Lk.  I actually gave up the mountain boots for trail runners on this trip AND LOVED IT!  My ankles are a little tired but the lighter feet and improved dexterity helped a ton on the slabby hike up to Robin lk. 
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Name unknown
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#3 and I, TS HAT!
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Cle Elum River to clean up on the way to lunch in town then home.

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My six (and a half) year old was leading the trail section of the hike the whole time, she carried her sleeping bag, gummi bears, a whistle and a water bottle. The rest carried most of their own stuff.  I got the tent but #1 and #2 are learning camp cooking so they got the stove and fuel.  

Thanks for reading. 

 

 

 

Jeff

 

1:13 p.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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excellent trip. I can't wait til my girls get big enough for me to get them out in the great outdoors. where are these lakes at?

3:17 p.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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North of Roslyn/Salmon La Sac in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness north of I-90 in Central-ish WA.

4:21 p.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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goat fight club! hah

 

Great report Jeff!

2:22 p.m. on August 7, 2012 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

Is it wrong that I consider Noel as the "Sacrificial Dog," meaning that one of her functions is to find bears and cougars and keep them occupied while us two-legs make good our escape?

I always figured the job of a dog on  the trail is to provide warning of dangers we can't see, and if it's not big enough to defend itself, to provide food for a hungry bear while the hikers escape.

Especially those little purse-dogs sometimes carried by the jeans-and-sneakers crowd.

8:07 a.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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The flower is some kind of Penstemon (beardtongue), possibly P. davidsonii.


Nice photos -- love the goats! And +1 on the trail runners -- I am now using Trail Gloves if there is a good trail, but stick to boots where there's snow or the going gets rough.

10:21 a.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Very nice trip, for sure!!

1:06 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Red I think you got the flower nailed

3:22 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Another fantastic trip with your family, Jeff. The smiles and obvious enthusiasm of your kids says is all! 

4:39 p.m. on August 8, 2012 (EDT)
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What backpacks do you have for each of the kids, Jeff? I have some nieces and nephews that I like taking on trips when I can, but none of them have adequate packs. Do you have any that you recommend highly for the different ages?

9:16 a.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Well, #3 and #4 are wearing basic Hi-Tech rucksacks.   All they carry is their sleeping bags, a water bottle, whistle and some gummi bears.  #1 and #2 are wearing no-name packs that pack between 2,500 and 3,200 ci. (Pacific Crest?).  We bought them at a discount outdoor supplier in Wenatchee, WA called Hooked on Toys.  I went the low-cost route. 

Having said that these packs are decent and the kids enjoy them.  I used to have the kids use my old (25 yrs old) REI external frame pack but they hated it and found it uncomfortable.  Also it was uniquely unsuitable for climbing and especially for glisading as the bottom of the frame acted as a brake in the snow. 

My opinion is that kids packs must be comfortable above all else.  For us a place for crampons and an ice axe loop are essential but otherwise its really easy to overspend on a pack that they will only wear four or so seasons before passing it on. 

The case can be made that, since I have a big family I need durable packs that I can pass down to all of the Clones but I am finding that most packs in the Coleman price range do just fine; kids don't carry enough weight far enough to wear them out. 

After they outgrow these packs they will be old enough to buy a pack of their choosing.

1:11 p.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for sharing your report about traveling with kids and dogs.  I have fond memories of Alpine Lakes when studying forestry at the U of WA.

It is exciting to see goats up close and personal, but it is sad that they have lost their fear of humans and have actually injured people.  It would be helpful for humans and the goats if people could put some fear in them.  Throw rocks, yell at them, act intimidating.  Maybe some rubber bulltts.  When wildlife species lose their fear of humans they often lose their lives.

5:20 p.m. on August 9, 2012 (EDT)
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This group of goats is a nanny group so the risk of injuries to people is only theoretical.  Still, if the USFS really wanted to stop this interaction all they would have to do is locate a few salt licks in places away from the camp sites and the goats would likely leave in favor of the salt licks. 

There is something creepy about a goat licking its lips a few feet away and watching you, impatiently waiting as you pee on a rock so it can be the first to get at your salt. 

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