Camping, Hiking, Swimming, & Hot Springs @ Little Lakes Valley / Eastern Sierra

This is a past event

9 people went

Little Lakes Valley Trailhead (Gem Lakes)

Little Lakes Valley Trail · Bishop, CA

How to find us

Arrive whenever you want. Sorry, space is limited. Campsite details and address will be sent to those who message me with answers to the questions and who pay. Please read the description for instructions on how to save a spot.

Location image of event venue

Details

Hi,

Everybody is busy and your time is limited.

My intention isn’t to waste anyone’s time. If interested in this trip, reading this description is recommended.

For app users reading this on your phone - it's easier to view this on a larger screen and web browser via a computer/laptop/tablet -

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/events/262381102

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One popular and beautiful area of Eastern Sierra is Little Lakes Valley in Rock Creek Canyon.

Some trails are easy and moderate level.

Little Lakes Valley trail is fairly easy imo (relatively little elevation gain), so nearly everyone can enjoy this mostly flat trail.

Dogs and kids should be able to handle this hike imo.

If anyone prefers some elevation, you can keep going to Morgan Pass/Morgan Lakes....or go on another trail to Mono Pass.

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Earlier this month, we had a large group (~ 46 people), which was fun, but stressful; so this time, this will be a smaller group trip, maybe around 4 - 8 people.

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If anyone is new to camping, new to Eastern Sierra, and/or a casual hiker---then this would be a good event to consider...especially since Little Lakes trail is fairly easy, yet very scenic imo.

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The start time posted is 5:00 pm, but this event is flexible. If anyone wants to drive up Friday morning to have more time for exploring the area (or hiking), that's fine.

Or if anyone wants to start earlier and go up Thursday afternoon/evening, lmk and we can talk about it.

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Drive time is about:

5 - 5.5 hours from LA - https://goo.gl/maps/VAdShnEVbJCJgS8MA

5.5 - 6 hours from OC - https://goo.gl/maps/NCFAu6Ewi4NanWFK8

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If anyone arrives late on Friday night (e.g. 11pm or later), and wants help setting up their tent in the dark, I'll bring extra lights, and lend a hand and foot.

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It helps if people contact me directly (via Meetup) with answers to some questions.

If there’s room and I feel okay about someone attending, then I’ll reply and include my Paypal and Venmo. $30 per person/adult. Kids are usually free*.

Those who contact me, confirm, and pay will be saved a spot at our campsite.

We’re sorry if room isn’t available for everyone, and some people can’t go.

If any guy (who has never met me) wants to attend, near the bottom is an additional request that involves sending me a photo/selfie of yourself. I’ll elaborate/clarify later.

Sometimes people try to communicate with me in the comments section, and imo, it’s inconvenient. Plus, Meetup sometimes doesn’t notify me of comments, so I might not see questions/comments immediately, so messaging me directly is preferred.

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The plan is to sleep / camp in Rock Creek Canyon.

If Little Lakes Valley trail sounds too easy, and anyone wants to do a moderate hike, two other trails start near Rock Creek Lake - Hilton Creek Lakes and Tamarack Lakes (green and purple in the following map) -

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5337631.pdf

Everyone is welcome to choose which hike/activity they want to do.

The easier, Little Lakes Valley trail (to Morgan Pass) is orange in the aforementioned map.

If anyone wants to hike to Mono Pass (Ruby Lake), it's red in the aforementioned map.

Or feel free to pick another hike.

On Saturday afternoon, after hiking, maybe we can swim at Rock Creek Lake or relax at a nearby hot spring in Mammoth.

On Sunday, we can discuss if anyone wants to hike together somewhere else.

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The Morgan Pass trail is flexible...so you can stop wherever you want...at Long Lake, Chickenfoot Lake, Gem Lake, Treasure Lakes, Morgan Lakes, etc.

It's your choice.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/little-lakes-valley-to-gem-lakes

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/rock-creek-to-long-lake-trail

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/mosquito-flat-to-morgan-lakes

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If anyone prefers more elevation, consider the Mono Pass trail -

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/ruby-lake

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/mono-pass-from-mosquito-flat-trailhead

or

Hilton Lakes trail

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/hilton-lakes-trail

or

Tamarick Lakes trail

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/tamarack-lakes-trail

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More info/details about Little Lakes Valley

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https://modernhiker.com/hiking-little-lakes-valley

http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/little-lakes-valley

http://www.hikingwalking.com/destinations/ca/ca_ses/mammoth_lakes/little_lakes/little_lakes_detail

https://www.yelp.com/biz/mosquito-flat-trailhead-mammoth-lakes

http://www.rockcreeklake.com/virtual/llvalley/1.htm

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32083-d3491124-Reviews-Little_Lakes_Valley_Trail-Bishop_California.html

https://www.summitpost.org/little-lakes-valley/715698

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If anyone is new and unfamiliar with Eastern Sierra, Rock Creek Canyon is # 7 on the following map (2nd page)

https://www.californiafallcolor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/FallColorMap2017.pdf

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Little Lakes Valley is southwest of Rock Creek Lake.

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Update:

Earlier this month during our Big Pine Lakes trip, a few other group members hiked the Little Lakes Valley without snow being a problem.

Based on recent photos & reports, most of the trail is snow-free.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/little-lakes-valley-to-gem-lakes

Others have reported snow at higher elevation...such as on the Mono Pass trail to Ruby Lake (partially frozen).

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/mono-pass-from-mosquito-flat-trailhead/photos

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/ruby-lake/photos

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rockcreek/permalink/2224236067625078

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My guess is we can get to at least Long Lake and Chickenfoot Lake...and maybe Gem Lakes and Morgan Lake too.

If anyone wants a visual...here's a map -

www.flyfishingthesierra.com/images/rcreekbc1.gif

The trailhead starts at the top center (Mosquito Flat TH)...and the Morgan Pass/Morgan Lakes trail goes south, passing Mack Lake, Marsh Lake, Heart Lake, Box Lake, Long Lake, etc...

...and the Mono Pass Lake also starts at Mosquito Flat TH, goes south, but then turns west to Ruby Lake.

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I personally will probably take it easy, relax at one of the lakes, eat lunch, and possibly bring a pool float to chill at one of the lakes, but...

If anyone else wants to go farther/higher to higher elevation, feel free to bring microspikes, crampons, gaiters, snowshoes, ice axe, etc.

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In addition to hiking, swimming at a lake is another idea.

Or going to a nearby hot spring to relax is also possible.

One is called something like Willy Wonka or Wet Willy.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/wild-willys-hot-spring-mammoth-lakes

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Other Hot Springs:

https://whenyouwander.com/5-best-free-hot-springs-in-mammoth-lakes-california

https://nobackhome.com/hot-springs-near-mammoth

https://fittowander.com/2015/05/03/hot-springs-mammoth-california

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Photos:

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/photos/28229093/465400908

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/rock-creek-to-long-lake-trail/photos

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/little-lakes-valley-to-gem-lakes/photos

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/mosquito-flat-to-morgan-lakes/photos

https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/1432634043468101/little-lakes-valley

https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/543371957/little-lakes-valley-trail-head-eastern-sierras

https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/322903871/little-lakes-valley-trail

https://www.google.com/search?&hl=en&tbm=isch&q=Little+Lakes+Valley

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Videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=little+lakes+valley

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Dog & Kid Friendly:

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https://calitrails.com/2014/06/03/day-hiking-little-lakes-valley

https://trailtopeak.com/2018/11/13/hiking-little-lakes-valley-trail-gem-lakes-via-mosquito-flat-bishop-ca

https://www.femalehiker.com/hikes/little-lakes-valley

https://hikinggirlwithdog.com/category/location/eastern-sierra

https://rockchucksummit.com/easy-hikes-mammoth-lakes

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Our camping trips are intended as fun and friendly get-togethers to enjoy nature and the great outdoors.

Everyone has many options of things to do on the weekends. You all could be doing several other things/activities.

Our trips are an opportunity to get away for the weekend, meet some new people, and have some fun exploring our beautiful planet with others who appreciate life.

Maybe you’ll have an awful, awesome, or awe-none time. I don’t promise or guarantee anything. Ultimately, it’s up to each person to decide if they want to go or not. Clearly I’m a bad salesman. ;) I never try to convince/persuade anyone from joining.

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Bringing some form of bug repellent is suggested.

Either a spray, lotion, or mosquito bracelet, etc.

You can wear shorts and a short-sleeve t-shirt, but consider wearing comfortable hiking pants and a long sleeve t-shirt. The less skin you have exposed, the less likely mosquitoes can bite you.

People have different opinions about DEET. If you don't want to spray DEET or other chemicals on your skin or face, it looks weird/ugly, but a mosquito net that goes over your face/head is worth considering. These mosquitoes are fearless in attacking your neck, neck, face, back, arms, etc.

They can be found at local stores like Walmart, Target, Big 5, Sport Chalet, maybe REI, etc.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Mosquito-Head-Net/13848609

http://big5sportinggoods.com/store/details/coghlans-mosquito-head-net/0750101738941/_/A-1898543

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coghlan-s-Mosquito-Head-Net/26958651

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DEET-free alternatives should be available, such as essential oils or herbal & flower-based repellents.

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This shouldn't scare or deter anyone from going.

Believe me or not....Little Lakes Valley trail is a beautiful hike...and it's very popular, despite the mosquitoes.

The mosquitoes can be aggressive and annoying in some areas along the trail, so bringing something is highly recommended.

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The campground should allow dogs.

The campground should have potable water, fire ring, food/bear locker, and restroom with toilets that flush.

The campground does not have electricity or showers, but a nearby lodge/resort might have showers available for public use.

I'll try to remember to check with

Rock Creek Lodge -[masked]

Rock Creek Lakes Resort -[masked]

http://climber.org/data/showers.html

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I usually bring foil and get wood if anyone wants to cook over a fire.

Parking at the campground is limited...so carpooling will help. A few of us might need to park elsewhere, such as an overflow parking lot.

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Food / Meals

Some people are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, taste-free, etc., so that's why we avoid potluck type meals, because not everybody can eat the same things (and some are picky and hard-to-please).

Ergo, it's best (and everyone will be happier) if everyone chooses/brings/buys their own food, snacks, & drinks.

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If anyone is new to camping and doesn't know what to bring/buy, Google camping food, camping meals, or camping recipes.

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My suggestion is to keep things simple (easy to prepare & clean).

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Breakfast - fruit, oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, Nutella and banana slices with bread, etc.

Lunch - PB&J or tuna sandwiches, ham/turkey sandwiches if you have access to a cooler to keep lunch meat cold, granola bars, nuts/almonds, trail mix, protein bars, jerky, fruit, dry fruit, etc.

Dinner - I usually cook veggie burgers over a fire. Some people make simple dinners like ramen noodles, soups, salads, etc. Some grill / BBQ meat. If anyone is vegetarian, you can wrap veggies in foil (asparagus, bell peppers, eggplant, etc...) and add olive oil or sea salt, and cook it over a fire.

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I usually bring a gas stove, and sometimes my small pot & pan are available...so if anyone wants to cook something, just lmk.

If you plan on making something fancy (or messy), maybe bring your own pot & pan.

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If anyone is new to Meetup, please disregard / ignore the RSVP list.

The majority of people who signed up will not go.

I’ve planned several camping trips, and for some unknown reason, usually what happens is many people sign up, but a fraction are serious about going, so the RSVP list means nothing.

People can easily change their mind, get busy, not want to drive, not be able to get a ride, make other plans, etc...so the number of people who signed up does not accurately reflect the number who will actually go.

My guess is 4 - 8 people might go.

If anyone is new to Meetup or afraid/scared of camping with strangers---that’s totally normal and human.

My suggestion is to not go.

We don’t want to worry about you and we rather make room for others who want to go. So if anyone is nervous, hesitant, or maybe about going, it’s totally fine if you don’t go.

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I'm not a mind-reader, so if anyone is interested in attending, please contact me directly (message me on Meetup) with answers to the following questions:

(1) Do you want to drive or ride with someone else? If you can drive others, how many passengers can you accommodate? What time do you want to leave SoCal? What city/area are you leaving from? (This helps with finding you a carpool buddy).

(2) Do you have your own camping gear (e.g. tent, sleeping bag, mat/pad/cot, etc.) ?

(3) Do you understand you are responsible for bringing / buying your own food?

(4) Do you understand it's possible some trails at higher elevations might still have snow? I think some snow should melt by late July, but some parts of trails might have snow.

(5) Do you understand some trails in this area start at a high elevation, and therefore anyone who is susceptible to altitude sickness should be aware, careful, and prepared?

(6) Question for drivers --- The campground has limited parking space. We'll try to squeeze 2 - 3 vehicles per site. If we exceed our allocated parking spots, are you willing to park nearby (such as an overflow area) ? You can still drive your vehicle to drop off your stuff at the campsite, but are you will willing to park elsewhere if needed?

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If using Meetup via the phone app or a computer (e.g. web browser), look for my name/profile (wise|man) under Attendees, and then click a shortcut for messaging me (e.g. an envelope icon shortcut or "message").

Please message “wise|man” instead of using the comments section. Thank you.

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If anybody is new to camping and doesn’t have some camping gear/equipment, or wants help coordinating carpooling or tent sharing, just lmk.

After messaging me your answers, a $30 contribution will be collected via Paypal or Venmo.

More info on the campsite & final details will be sent to those who confirmed & paid.

Leftover money will be used to buy some items to help a few homeless individuals.

Examples:

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=30175254

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=29592052

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=29546201

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=29399393

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=28491048

https://www.meetup.com/OC_Camping/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=28207617

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Something new for 2019:

If any guy has never met me before, in addition to the aforementioned questions, I will also ask each guy to send me a photo of yourself.

If possible, hold up a piece of paper with 3 things: my name, your name, and the date.

Email it to [masked] or text it to[masked]

Totally understandable some guys might not want to do this (inconvenient, a pain/hassle, etc.). If anyone doesn’t want to do this, that’s your prerogative.

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FAQ

Q: Why don’t you ask women to send a photo?

A: Because I’m sexist. After 20+ camping trips of encountering 400 to 500+ people who attended one of my camping trips, I don’t remember any woman harassing a man, but a few guys have bothered women, so now I’m taking extra precaution with just guys.

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Dear ladies,

If anyone is thinking about going, please look at the RSVP list.

If any guy seems weird or creepy, or messaged you out of nowhere, or makes you feel uncomfortable, just lmk.

I trust women's intuition, so if you don't want someone to attend, just lmk.

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Dear gentlemen,

After the news in 2017 with sexual abuse, harassment, inappropriate behavior, #MeToo movement, etc., I want to be more vigilant and careful with who joins.

I've planned numerous camping trips, and surprisingly, many women have attended.

By default, I take on an over-protective brother/father role and need to look out for everyone.

We've been lucky in having some good guys attend, but a few have been questionable, and therefore, that’s why we now have to be more judicious and cautious.

Believe it or not, I’m a Jane Austen-liking, hopeful romantic.

At least 6 group members have met through my meetup events and started dating. I’m happy whenever two people can connect (as long as there’s mutual interest/attraction).

However, I also need to be vigilant and diligent.

It probably is not easy for some women to go camping with strangers, and whenever other women put trust in me and are willing to attend, I need to look out for their safety and well-being.

I have enough to stress about:

...will people arrive safely (no accidents, flat tires, speeding tickets), have food, water, and all the camping gear they need, sleep okay, stay warm, not get lost / injured, etc…

So if you’re a guy who is interested in attending, please “be cool.”

If you can help me have one less thing to worry about, it preserves my sanity.

So if any women attend, thank you for being respectful toward them.

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If anyone can drive and is open to carpooling...or if anyone wants to go, but is looking for a ride:

- Post a comment and maybe others will respond

- Check the comments section if maybe someone else is offering a ride or needs a ride

- Let me (Wiseman) know because sometimes people message me (and they might not post a comment), so I can also try to connect people for carpooling.

Note: If you successfully connect with another person for carpooling, please let me know b/c it helps me coordinate the campsite assignments for # of people and vehicles per campsite.

In past camping trips, some people became friends through carpooling. Yes, riding with a new person might seem awkward, so feel free to exchange social media, or talk over the phone, or meet for coffee or a hike beforehand to break the ice and become more comfortable with one another.

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Examples of recommended items to bring:

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Bug spray / Insect repellent / Mask nets

Sleeping bag + pillow

Sleeping pad / mat or air mattress

Tent (or share with someone who has one)

Appropriate clothes, socks, & shoes

Toothbrush, toothpaste, & other hygiene items / toiletries

Lip balm / chapstick

Hand sanitizer or baby wipes / wet naps

Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat or a bandana

Earplugs

Flashlight / Headlamp

Portable chair

Cell phone charger cable (car adapter) or portable charger

Water or water filter

Water bottles or hydration pack

Food (and cookware)

Towel, soap, shampoo, & flip-flops / water sandals (if showering)

Swimwear (if swimming in lake or going to a hot spring)

Music or games

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/family-camping-checklist.html

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* Some other camping events on Meetup might prohibit kids. I admire parents who introduce their child(ren) to the outdoors and respect parents who encourage kids to take a break from tv, video games, phones, computers, etc..

So parents and kids are welcome to join.

I usually ask for a payment per person (adult), so kids who attend are free. As long as there’s space/room at the campsite, and the child genuinely wants to attend, and it’s not a large # of kids (boys/girls scouts, youth group, etc.).

Some people on Meetup don’t want kids to attend, but I try to be cool, understanding, and supportive of parents. However, we want to avoid a situation where a kid is dragged to camping trip and doesn’t want to be there (foul/negative mood, tantrum, drama, etc.)....so thank you for your cooperation.

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One group member contacted me about fishing.

I personally don't know much, so you'll have to research on your own...but I remember seeing others fishing in this area before.

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https://www.monocounty.org/things-to-do/fishing

https://rockcreeklodge.com/fishing-rock-creek-canyon

http://www.rockcreeklakesresort.com/fishing-information

https://www.facebook.com/groups/easternsierrafishing

https://www.facebook.com/EasternSierraFishReports

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1988144838072674

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rockcreek

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The following is just filler that I need to add b/c Meetup has some weird character limit, and I might need to add to this description later...so the following is just a short story that you can ignore...it's seriously just filler.

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Genesis and Catastrophe
Roald Dahl

“Everything is normal,” the doctor was saying. “Just lie back and relax.” His voice was miles away in the distance and he seemed to be shouting at her.

“You have a son.”

“What?”

“You have a fine son. You understand that, don’t you? A fine son. Did you hear him crying?”

“Is he all right, Doctor?”

“Of course he is all right,”

“Please let me see him.”

“You’ll see him in a moment.”

“You are certain he is all right?”