In the weeks that followed that 2007 vacation, the curiosity seed germinated, took root, and sprouted. The aerial image paid my mind's eye frequent visits. Remembering the pilot's chatter about the difference in elevation of the lakes goaded my curiosity, and not knowing the exact figure gnawed at my brain. The more I tried to dismiss that minutea, the more that absent, numerical factoid bothered me. Not to get all Doctor Phil about it, but I needed some closure.
And I secretly thought of how great it would be to find and explore those two lakes I had seen from the plane.
It didn't take long to find maps on the 'net. By tracing what I remembered as the flight path, my initial guess was far north of the actual route taken. As a result, there were some false positives in my topographical detective work. They looked like they might be the lakes, but what the map showed didn't jibe with the visual image I remembered.
Moving the flight path and search area a little south as much as made the two mystery lakes virtually jump off the screen at me. There they were! In all their topographical glory: Eagles Nest and Bug Lakes. And the question of their respective elevations was answered: according to fishingworks.com, Eagles Nest is 1,923 feet ASL (above sea level) and Bug is 1,991 feet ASL. With some elementary school arithmetic applied, the missing factoid of 68 feet was revealed.
Though the elevation difference between the two isn't necessarily that significant, consider climbing a 70 foot ladder to get from one to the other. The fact that there's only about 300 feet separating the two suggested interesting terrain. A concentration of elevation lines in the center third of the land separating the lakes looked both intriguing and alluring.
So the mystery of the elevation difference was solved. However, another mystery remained: just how close were these two lakes to my humble campsite at the Eighth Lake Campgrounds? Little did I realize how doable reaching and exploring the lakes would be.
Lo and behold, the two lakes were closer to the campground than I had ever could have imagined. Or dreamed. Or wanted.