Platt family reunion


The Platt clan gathers at Redfish Lake for a few days of hiking and togetherness.

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Our family gets together every now and again. Here are a few other reunions:

  • 2000 South Sister, Oregon
  • 2001 Upper Payette Lake
  • 2004 Humbug State Park, Oregon

Last February, Dad (Richard) and Shelley used multiple computers to snag three campsites on Redfish Lake for the gathering of the clan. This is the view from camp.



Sunrise on Redfish Lake
We made the most of it by spending quality family time together, somewhere close to the beer cooler or the margarita mix. Camp
Being the only male Platt of this generation is a tough job, but our secret agent, Chris, handles it with aplomb. Even with his cool demeanor, he had to leave shortly after this picture was taken. Chris

At 77, Dad still likes to hike. He put me in charge of selecting our hikes. Blackman Peak was my suggestion for the most view-bang for your hiking buck in the Stanley basin (and one fresh in my mind, since I had climbed it only two weeks earlier). So the next morning, we all set off- except Chris, who was "pulling a Julie".

Richard Platt


We got a leisurely start, but then made good progress toward our first goal of the day. Lena, Shelley, and Nathan went far enough to see the mines and a great view of the surrounding basin, then called it quits and headed back to the cars.

The rest of us soldiered on. That's the summit just above Mack's head.

West ridge of Blackman Peak

After working our way through the trees on the west ridge, it turns to scree, but with a well-trod path. Despite our large group and diverse amounts of enthusiasm, we all were on the summit in about two hours.

Scree on Blackman Peak

Then it was time for lunch and photos. Left to right: Cathleen, Jenny, Richard, Tom, Daniel, Susan, Mack, Jazz, and me. Somehow, David managed to avoid the critical eye of the camera. So did Jazz's feet, which were clad in her choice of hiking gear: low-cut 10$ slip-on tennies.


Platt family on Blackman Peak

After some mumbled discussion... perhaps we should stop chewing for a moment? ... we decided to head down the east ridge for Fourth of July lake. However, David and Jenny left the group and went for Patterson Peak, aiming for a later rendezvous with Tom, Susan, and I.

Most of us ambled down to the lake, stopping briefly to let the dogs swim in a pond. This is the four Platt siblings at Fourth of July lake: John, Cathleen, Tom, and Daniel (not in chronological order).


Platt siblings
Tom was very proud of Susan. She kept up, didn't whine too much, and kept a sense of humor with her running commentary on her "dogs." Tom and Susan

Tom, Susan, and I then left the lake and gained about 300' on the ridge of Fourth of July peak, suspecting that David and Jenny were moving very fast. When we spotted them below us, they were jogging on the trail and caught up to us in just minutes.

This picture shows us on the summit, but omits the dark clouds on the horizon that had your author a little nervous. But as we descended the west ridge, the sky cleared and all was well. Considering that we were very slow up Blackman, our time of six hours car-to-car means that for the rest of the climb our group today was about matching the pace of Art and I two weeks ago. Good job Susan!

Summit of Fourth of July Peak
Then we all met back at camp. Daniel and Lena enjoyed a palatial tent. Here they do their own version of American Gothic, but sitting down after all that hiking. Fifth Bench Lake

The next day, Richard had a hankering to hike to the Bench Lakes. I hadn't done this hike since Julie, Jazz, and I did a Bench Lakes hike back in 1994.

Once again, our group splintered as the day wore on. Lena, Shelley, and Jazz went to Hailey to get trailer tires. Everyone but Nathan hiked to the 1st Bench Lake. Susan and Mack joined Richard, Tom and I for lunch at the 2nd Bench Lake. Then Richard, Tom, and I hiked up to the 4th Bench lake. And finally, Tom and I hiked up to the 5th Bench lake where we had a fabulous skinny-dip in the lake.

Fifth Bench Lake

We cruised back down to the 4th lake and rejoined Richard. Then hiked out.

When we got back to camp, we heard all sort of trauma had occurred. Nathan, who had rebelled and hiked down by himself, had been hard to find (read: Lost to everyone but Nathan).

Fourth bench Lake

Meanwhile, Cathleen had chosen to carry their dog Sally, and as a result of tripping and not wanting to drop the little critter, had badly sprained (or broken?) her ankle. David had hiked ahead to search for Nathan, but when Nathan wasn't at the car, David had taken off to search further. So when Cathleen got down, both David and Nathan were missing.

When we got down, Nathan had been found, but David and Cathleen were in Stanley visiting the clinic. The medicos sent them from Stanley to Ketchum to get an x-ray, which showed only a bad sprain. Well, it *did* get her out of cooking the meal that evening.

With both his parents gone, Nathan drank too much, as you can probably tell, He was encouraged by his cousin, Mackenzie. Here they are, caught in the act. Richard and Shelley
While all this was going on, we had our standard feast around the camp. Lena took charge of the Coleman stove, showing she has a potential promising career as a burger flipper at McDs. Richard and Shelley remained mostly calm through the chaos. Sasha and Dieken did not (but all the commotion made me want to bark, too). Richard and Shelley

The next day, Tom and Susan had to leave early. Cathleen was wounded, and David wisely chose to tend to her. Richard was tired, and skeptical of his ability to keep up. Nathan, Mack, and Jazz went horseback riding. And I think Jenny finds her uncles a bit weird (wouldn't you?).

So it was just Daniel and I who would attempt to climb the highest peak in the Sawtooth range, Mt. Thompson. I've been up Thompson a few times, the last time in 2001.

Daniel did very well on the trail, but did not like the talus. Since the entire upper basin under Thomson is talus, this proved to be a problem.

Nevertheless, Daniel sported his Guyana t-shirt to unprecedented heights.

Thompson Peak

Although Daniel didn't seemed terribly impressed, I felt really lucky to see this goat just under the saddle between Thompson and Williams.

We had lunch at the saddle and decided that it was turning into a longer day that anticipated. So down we went.

Mountain goat

Once again, a new first was achieved- we don't think that anyone has ever glissaded this snow patch in a Guyana t-shirt. This was a 9-hour day over about 15 miles. Good job, Daniel!




North ridge of WCP-9

For the most part, the weather as dry, sunny, and hot. The water was pleasantly cool, and the kids had a blast with their water toys.

We did have some afternoon thunderstorm action, but only a few random drops of precip. We had one very smoky morning. And happily, almost no bugs.

Fourth bench Lake

Mr. Natural Home | 2007 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski