Sunday, June 17, 2018

Grandaddy Basin

Scratching my head while sitting at Pinto Lake in the High Unita's I tried to remember if this was one of the places my Scout Troop had camped.  I've been here plenty as a mid point on a hike but, remembering back 30 plus years is a stretch.  l camped along the end this weekend.

I got off early Friday. Drove longer than expected towards Hanna to get to the Grandview Trailhead.  As a side note, don't do the final 6 miles in a 2 wheel drive car.  It's step as, never mind, and has drop offs, yeah may be no.  I made good time to Pinto Lake where I called it a day.

Saturday, I made slow miles and visited another point I haven't been in a while, Rocky Sea Pass.  10 years ago I spent my first night alone in the Uinta's here.  The other side is, um, not pass able for me.  I sat a while staring into the next basin full of lakes.

From here I returned and dropped into 4 Lakes Basin for a bit and then on to Grandaddy Lake.  For a while I thought about going by way of Rock Creek and up.  After setting camp, I wandered a bit.  I went down the trail I would have come up.  It was abandoned or did I take a wrong trail.

The mosquitos are out at this spot, arugh.  I donded the bug net to keep my sanity until one decided to have my tea after supper.  Needles to say, I didn't finish that mug. One does not know the trouble of sleep until they've shared a tent with a few pesky mosquitos.

Sunday will be a hot coffee before heading over the pass to the car.  Hopefully an uneventful drive to the main road and home.

I typically like doing day by day on the hikes however I am using a broken device now in an Otterbox case which I'm not a fan of.  However had I had the device contained last week it wouldn't be broken.
Ah making of memories.

Hum, I hear rain.

Going down the road to Grandview is a lot easier.  I may drive up there again.
Rain, light and sparse, just enough to wet the tent.  Since I get up and go this means drying out later in the day.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Wrap up

Exit days are a mix, sometimes I've got miles to crunch, others are lazzy.  This exit day fell into lazy.  I woke up rested, warm, refreshed.  The lower elevation, trees, and the wind dying out added to solid sleep.  I like to try to be up and gone in 15 minutes as a goal.  This being lazy, how does 25 minutes sound?

After packing, I boiled up some water for coffee, walked Duck Lake's beach before heading out.

I wandered to Weir Lake, down a side trail to Majorie Lake.  At Majorie Lake I fixed a mug of mint tea and played the guitar a while.  I really need to memorize some music.  I checked out a few spots near by before returning along the flooded trail.  Wet feet, suck it up, walk through the water.  The modern materials need no pampering like the boots of old.

I was back at the car by noon.  I had a lazy time.  What did I learn?  Keep the phone in a case.  I dropped it a few times too many.  Also a tent is warmer than sleeping under the stars but, I wouldn't exchange sleeping out under the stars when I can for a little warmth.

Hike on, Hike wise.

OMG Stars

At hiker midnight (after sunset) I slipped into my quilt.  Still not dark, I rolled over.  When I tossed next the stars were casting shadows.  Several hours later the Milkyway Galaxy appeared.  I stared in wonder.  How can anyone choose a tent on a night like this? No wind, no moon.

Around the third watch of the night, 3 to 5 am, I got chilled.  I left the bag liner home, thtat would make a bit of a difference.  The quilt is 30 degree rated, meaning that's the low end comfort range.  I shrugged the chill off.

Day break came.  I didn't aim for 15 minutes to gone but, I did pack quickly.  I stuffed things such that I could dry out my ground sheet and quilt with minimal intrusion and get coffee at the same time.

I hike up to The Notch, stuck my head over the pass, came back, found a place in the sun for a while.   Laid out the gear to air out, fixed a hot coffee, and jamed a few tunes until the wind kicked up.  Did you know I hate wind... wind is good for kite flying, sailing, and cleaning out the Salt Lake Valley air.  Arugh, I'm chilled again.  Time to step away from this cliff band and the great view to a place a bit more sheltered.


No mater how many times I enter a basin in the Uinta's I find magic.  Each time is slightly different though the terrain does not change.

I wandered towards Divide Lakes, no trail just going between the different small lakes until I got there.   I talked with a fellow a spell at a camp site I've used before,  before moving on.

I dropped into Cliff Lake, spun a hard right but before I proceed I spent a few minutes chatting  with climbers headed to Cliff Lake.  One gal knows a someone I met last year in Oregon.  What a small world.

I went up to Long Lake, took a nap.  Went to Island Lake, went off trail to Fire Lake, a small lake one can see from the Big Elk Lake Trail above.  It's easy to find... follow the water.  Got back to Island Lake, passed down to Duck Lake.

At Duck Lake I sat a bit too long and decided the wandering is over for the day.  I'm writing at 7pm, been here since 4.  Yeah, I've got a few miles to pull to get to the trailhead in the morning but, so what.

With the wind, I've set my tent to help keep me a bit warmer and also using a big downed tree as a wind block.

Ah a weekend of relaxing...


Crystal Lake trailhead was in overflow mode by the time I got there after work.  I chose to find a quiet place above Wall Lake long before sunset.  I'm sure I could have found another spot higher but, eh so what I'm up for fun this weekend.  I don't have much of an agenda just wander, camp, and play a little guitar, pun intended.

I'm hoping with my position I'll get a sky full of stars and a great sunrise.