We managed to get in a "spot of bother" in our 24 hour trip to Ollalie Lake this weekend but that's what you get when you go somewhere new for adventure. We didn't get out of town until afternoon for various reasons but it was nice to get on the road regardless of the time. We grabbed some fried chicken and potato salad at the store on our way out so we wouldn't have to cook dinner and that was a great idea it turned out.
Ollalie is a remote lake primarily used for fishing and motorized boats are not allowed there. There is also no swimming since it is used as a drinking water source, no problem though, there are plenty of other high mountain lakes in the area and we were setting out to mountain bike around many of them.
We decided at the last minute to go to Ollalie but we had a book and maps of the area. The description of a mountain bike ride Red Lakes trail said it was 2-4 hours and technical with rocks. Typically trail descriptions are overly dramatic so I wasn't worried about the description, I figured I could walk any section that was too tough. We pull up to a trail head at Lower Lake campground and were shocked to see the camp ground was completely empty. Perhaps the recent snow melt had kept people away?
Nooooo it would be the mosquitoes keeping people away! As soon as we got out of the car we were attacked. We changed into biking gear in the car and got on our bikes as fast as possible. The start of the trail had a little bit of snow and a minor water crossing but otherwise the trail was ridable for the first 15 minutes. Once we passed Lower Lake the trail was overgrown and then started climbing up with a mess of rocks in the path. We dismounted and started pushing but after 10 minutes of bike pushing we had to concede that the trail was indeed technical and we were outclassed in this terrain. I think we could have ridden it in the other direction, it's easier to ride down rocks then up rocks, but it still wouldn't have been fun.
No worries, we'll just do an easier ride around Ollalie Lake, described as a 45 minute moderately technical ride. We took a fire road to get there and came upon a grated bridge in the road. Bill rode over it quickly and turned around to tell the dog to stop but it was too late, Marshall took a massive leap but fell short and his hind legs fell through the grates. He scrambled out and started limping. Mountain bike ride over.
We decided to go for a lake swim instead to keep the dog off of his leg. We rode back to Lower Lake and enjoyed a swim in crystal clear water. I wore a wetsuit since I don't tolerate cold water well but Bill just swam in his shorts. Marshall dog swam with us, he tries to save us but if we swim without stopping he'll swim right behind us. At one point, I was swimming right next to Marshall and could see his four legs pushing underwater. Excellent!
After the swim we thought we better get out of the area since the mosquitoes were so bad but Bill didn't want to back track, he saw a forest road on the map that he thought would be shorter. About 8 miles into the drive, the road turned really bad, were weren't able to go faster than 5 mph and we were getting hammered. Bill found a spot to turn around and we decided to stop there and eat that fried chicken. It turned out to have beautiful views so I couldn't be too irritated about the situation.
We thought about driving home after all the misadventures but we stopped at a few campgrounds on the way back and found a nice spot next to a river at "Humbug" campground. We pitched the tent, ate some strawberries, and went to bed. I love camping out and so does Marshall dog! When he wakes up in the morning his tail starts wagging so hard I think he's going to put a hole in the tent with it.
We made some oatmeal and then went on a trail run straight out of our campsite for about a half an hour. Marshall dog's leg seems to be fine, just a little scrape on the side. After the run we cleaned up, loaded up, and started the drive home. We were gone just over 24 hours and even though the times were not easy, we still had fun! More fabulous photos in our smugmug photo album.