Thursday, May 31, 2012

Great Western Trail to Long Willow Bottom Lake, Boulder Mountain- Dixie National Forest, Utah- May 2012

All I can say is I have been waiting for this trip for a long time now. This was the kick off to the 2012 backpacking season. We departed Salt Lake City on Friday, and made our way south. We were a little worried the farther we went, the winds were howling, and the dust was getting kicked up everywhere. We pushed on and about five hours later, we found ourselves at Barker Reservoir. We set up shop for the night, made some tin foil stuffed portobello's and wedged yukon golds that we put on the fire and ate up under the stars. After the long drive, good meal, and some beverages, we turned in. The next day we awoke with some serious clouds in camp. We started to think that maybe we were going to be stormed out, but we waited, and it snowed for about 2 hours, then just cleared out. The temps were really cold though. We made our way to the trail head and threw on the packs and started our walk in. This hike is extremely beautiful, with a mix of Aspen and Engelmann Spruce with huge meadows to boot.

What a nice walk it was. We took our time, had a few log hurdles to cross from downed trees, then headed up the junction to Round Willow Bottom Lake. This is a very nice size lake, and saw fish right off the bat. We decided because of the holiday weekend, we would continue up to Long Willow Bottom Lake and stay there to get some peace and quite. The first night up there was very strong winds and really cold temps. We tried to have a fire, but the wind was just so bad, you could not even feel the heat from it. We ended up turning in early because it was just too hard to stay warm and enjoy yourself with those conditions. Morning came and we got up and got the coffee going to warm us up. We decided to go fishing to get in the sun. After a what seemed to be all my flies that I had brought in, I moved to a spinner and finally caught a nice Tiger Trout. Nabbed a few more as we explored the area. It was a much more pleasant day, but still chilly in the shade. About mid day, the winds just died. Leaving the lake to turn to glass. As evening set in, we had zero wind, and much warmer air. We could actually have a fire and a fish cookout! After a great meal, and some beverages, midnight soon came, and it was time to turn in. Monday seemed to come way too fast, and we got up and fished the lake for a while, then broke camp and headed down to Round Willow Bottom Lake to give it a shot there.

After fishing for quite a while, we decided to head for the car as we had a long drive home. This was a great kick off to the backpacking season for 2012. We had so much different weather in a span of a few days, it made shooting a challenge at times, but got some nice night photography, and it was nice to hear the sound of silence once more. Enjoy the pics, more adventures to come.

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