We finished the bypass around Little Sluice Box and realized that Buck Island Lake was not going to be made before it would be dark. All of us agreed that we would rather be off the trail by the time the sun set. With this in mind, we changed our plans and decided to try for Spider Lake while we still had daylight left.
The trail was becoming increasingly tougher. The boulders and ledges were becoming bigger and more closely spaced. There was no room for error unless you didn't mind smashing your diff into a rock or punching a hole in your oil pan. Tire placement was the name of the game and getting them to stay put was becoming more of a challenge. Because of Robert's unique 3WD situation, he would occasionally need to attach his winch cable to Michael's Jeep in order to make it over the rocks. With no power being applied to his passenger side front tire, it was a struggle to get it up and over the taller rocks. Robert often times had to take a worse line just so that the un-powered tire could be more easily "pushed" over the rocks in its path.
We finally found what looked to be a turn off that headed in the direction of Spider Lake. The sun was quickly dipping for the horizon and it was nearly 8:00 PM when we pulled up near the lake's edge. We had spent the last 8 hours (give or take a few minutes) on the trail. We looked at the map and agreed that those few miles of trail were quite an accomplishment given that Robert was running in3WD and none of us had ever seen this country before. We got down to the task of setting up camp and bringing Day 1 to a close. After everyone ate, I fired up the digital camcorder and we all got to see a replay of our first day's adventure.
On Wednesday morning, Day 2, I rolled out of the passenger side Jeep seat (yes, I sleep in the seat) to find a beautiful day awaiting us. I ripped open a package of dehydrated food (bacon and eggs) and boiled up some water to re-hydrate my breakfast. Hey, don't knock it until you try it....it was good enough that I ate another one for breakfast the next morning!
After breakfast was done and I was packed up, I walked down to the lake to take a couple of shots of the beautiful scenery. As you can see in the above photo, the lake was extremely calm. You could see logs and such laying on the bottom of the lake, near the shore. The water quality was excellent, in my opinion (comparing this to any Arizona lake).
As you can see, there isn't much in the way of a sandy beach, eah? The granite slabs come right up to the water's edge and that is it. It does make for a nice way to hang your feet off of the rock and soak those tired old toes in the nice cool water. Little did I know when this picture was taken that I would be doing just that by the day's end.
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