After our first trip (basically snowed out) I wanted to take Mike and Jim to a place that was relatively easy to hike to, good scenery and good fishing. I had once taken a solo trip which included Mathis and Cathedral Lake. Cathedral was on trail and had beautiful scenery and Mathis was a lake that had easy to catch fish (good for kids) just big enough to keep and cook. I had caught nothing from Cathedral.
The hike to Cathedral (in June) was perfect for 2 boys, 6 and 11, with light packs and a pack mule (me at 45yo). We started in the morning and arrived for lunch at Cathedral. What luck - we were the only ones there.
We fished a little and not to my surprise caught nothing. There are really nice campsites there and we had our choice. It was a nearly ideal first day.
The next day we went fishing in the morning. I figured we would catch nothing and then head out to Mathis. To my surprise the fish were biting and each of us caught a few fish, in all enough for a large fish dinner. I (we) left several of the first fish, cleaned, in the water to pick up on the way back as I had done dozens if not hundreds of times in my life. It would be the last time I would do that practice forever. When were a large distance from the fish I saw several sea gulls swoop down and take several of our fish. We rushed back but saved only 2 of them. We caught several more and were able to have our large dinner. All in all an eventfully interesting and enjoyable day. What a treat for me to expose my boys to a really great high sierra day.
The next day we hiked to Mathis which is a few hours cross country but I thought to be relatively easily retraceable. With 2 young inexperienced boys this still made me nervous and I talked to them constantly on how to find there way back to the trail if need be. On the hike we passed by Echo Lake. They were hiking about 50 yards to my left and close to the lake I yelled something to them, thereby learning why it's called Echo Lake.
We arrived at Mathis just in time for a rain and then hail storm so just like 2 - 3 weeks earlier at Laurel the boys had to stay in the tent but this time for only 1 - 2 hours. Just like at Laurel I caught and cook a fish dinner and served it to them in the tent because of the very cold temps. In the evening all of us fished and each caught several small fish.
The next day we hiked to Cathedral, fished to no avail but nevertheless had a very pleasant sierra day. The last day we hiked to the car completing our 5 day trip. A nice leisurely trip, suited for 2 young boys, encouraging them for the future.
Each day I left several hours for them to just romp around and play with the proviso that they stay together at all times. I fished but kept my eye on them almost all of the time but let them feel independent much of the time. One of the best gifts you can give your kids is opportunities.
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