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Sunday, July 12, 2015

7-16 KAYAK String Lake and Leigh Lake and Photos Galore!

String Lake and Leigh Lake and Photos Galore                                   8 miles                  631 Total

We put in at the boat access on the south side of String Lake.  There were beautiful blue skies, white clouds and temperature was predicted to be about 75 degrees.  We were the only ones on the lake.  It's a shallow lake and crystal clear.  As we paddled north, we saw several deer hiding in the trees.  We watched them and they watched us.  This lake is about 100 feet lower in altitude than Leigh Lake, the two re connected by a runoff covered with rocks, impassable by boat.  The portage through the woods is clearly marked, and the path was cleared and wide enough that we could carry both kayaks together side by side.  The path ends at Leigh Lake with an inclined dirt path.  It was an absolutely beautiful view once we got there.  The water was completely still and we could see mirror images of the Tetons in the water.
Hooray!  This is the view from our Jenny Lake Campground.  A great day
for paddling.  Little did we know just how beautiful a day it would really turn out to be!

Parking lot at String Lake Trailhead.

Excited for this beautiful paddle - just can't see my excitement....

Saw these deer on the opposite side of String Lake.

Water is shallow here in String Lake - and crystal clear!!

We had to share the lake with others.

Oh my gosh!  Look at the view that greeted us as we came to the end of the portage path!
After we portaged our kayaks through the woods on a fairly wide, dirt path,
we came to this ramp leading down into Leigh Lake. The portage path does
go uphill.   It's so neat that Leigh Lake is at a higher altitude than String Lake.

We did a timed photo here and when I tried to get on the rock for the photo, I almost fell off the rock and into the water.  Ha! I am not the one to be running over rocks for a timed photo.
Laughing - I almost fell into the lake running back for the timed photo.  I
would NOT have been laughing if I had fallen in.  That water was COLD!

Once again, we were the only ones on the lake, other than a few ducks.  We did pass 2 rangers in a canoe and watched as they stopped to talk to two campers on the shore.  I heard the rangers tell them to keep their food locked up as a bear had been spotted in the area.  We paddled across Leigh Lake.  It's size was deceiving as we never seemed to be getting closer to the other side.  We finally reached the other side where there was water running down from the mountainsides.  We got out here and walked over the rocky stream - the water was even colder than the lake water.  The steam was surrounded by downed trees turned into beautiful driftwood pieces and alpine flowers were everywhere.  It was a gorgeous place for a snack break.  After 20 minutes or so, we started paddling back.  The wind had picked up and it was harder adding back.  On our return journey, we finally saw other people on the lake paddling up the lake.  I really didn't want this paddle to end as I decided that this was the most beautiful place I had ever paddled.  I turned around several times to see the mountains behind us.  When we got back to the portage, we walked to the bridge covering the rocky stream.  We walked around for a few moments, then got back into String Lake.  This lake was now filled with people.  Several were swimming, this lake is a bit warmer as it's so shallow.  There were lots of canoes, kayaks and SUPs on the water, and people sitting on the shore.

Love, love, love this lake!

Path down into Leigh Lake.

This is the reason for the path through the woods.
This is the rocky stream that runs from Leigh Lake down into String Lake.

We're laughing because this happy, crazy lady offered to take our picture.
Why do I say 'crazy'?  She says 'let me get the mountains in the background', and starts to
walk right past us until her husband positioned her in FRONT of US!

Portage into String Lake.

I heard a man say 'elk'.  I turned around and sure enough, there was an elk on the mountainside of the lake.  I paddled back to be a bit closer to him and took some photos.  His appearance explained the many footprints I could see on the bottom of the lake.

This was our last 'adventure' before starting the long drive home.  We were out on these 2 lakes for 4 hours, and it simply was the perfect way to end our perfect adventurous trip.  This was absolutely the most beautiful paddle and the scenery will always be with me!

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