Friday, August 29, 2014

Dean Lake, Uinta Mountains- August 2014

We had planned a bigger trip, but because of the severe weather, and snow, yes I said "snow" in the forecast. The group was looking to head out for the holiday weekend. I was spying the weather, and Sunday was forecasted to be clear and sunny, with Monday night having a storm plow into us with low pressure. So I decided to hit Dean Lake. I have wanted to go there, as I am told that this was the place to camp if you are in this basin. Last time I was out here I camped at Notch, and it was a bit too busy for my taste. I arrived at the Bald Mountain trail head Sunday Morning and hiked in. The temps were very brisk, I hiked in my jacket, which is something I rarely do. There were some patches of snow left over from Friday nights freak August snowstorm. The whole range got hit, and this is not normal for this time of the year. The trail was a soggy mess, but I carried on, as I knew that I did not have far to go. I made my way off the pass, then arrived at Clegg Lake. It was pretty with the sun on it. After the hike around Clegg, I carried on for a bit till I saw a board walk just past a pond. From the map, it took me down a meadow, and soon I found myself standing at Dean Lake.

I wandered around for a minute, and found a nice spot to camp. I got camp situated, and then I took some pictures. I kind of just sat there for a bit taking in the silence. There was no one out here, I was truly alone in the wilderness for this moment. After a while, I decided to give fishing a try. I fished around Dean, and landed a little Grayling. I did not know that there were Graylings in Dean. I was told Cutthroats and Brook Trout. Pretty surprised to land one of those. After walking all around the lake, I decided to walk over to Notch Lake, and give fishing a try there. The weather had cleared out, with just the cotton ball clouds making the light so perfect. I landed some nice brookies at Notch Lake, and watched the sun fade behind Notch Mountain. I decided to head back to my camp. Just as I got settled the sunset became amazing, and I got my camera in position and got a shot that is one of my favorites of the summer. Night settled in, and just as I was finishing dinner, I saw lighting and thunder broke in the distance. Huge thunder and lighting for hours, on again and off again rain. It came in waves, and was cool to experience on a solo trip. I got my rain gear on and tried for a few hours to just stick it out. But about midnight, It just got too cold, so I moved into my tent. I never stopped coming down all night long. I awoke to the sound of snow sliding off my rain fly.

I got up to see that everything was covered in white frosting. I made coffee, took in the rolling mist off the lake. I decided that if that was the 30% chance of showers forecasted that I experienced the night before, I was not going to see what 70% chance of showers had in store for me. I packed it up, and headed out. I was crunching through ice and slush all the way up to the main trail. This path was even more soggy that when I had come in. Every boardwalk that cover the meadows were covered in snow. The temps were mild, and it was a cool hike out. Got to my car and the window was covered in snow! Crazy weather for August! I love solo backpacking. It is always an adventure when I go by myself. Enjoy the slideshow of shots from the trip, more adventures to come!