Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Island Lake, Uinta Mountains- September 2015

I made a solo trip into Island Lake this past week for my holiday trip. I wanted to have no crowds, and my strategy seemed to pay off. I arrived at the trail head Wednesday just after noon, and got ready and headed in. There were five cars when I pulled in, and three of them left before I even got my boots on. I saw some day hikers on their way out, but no one but me packing it in. I ran into a dad and son on their way out from day hiking just before the pass, and chatted for a bit about who they saw while in there. They said no one was in there that they had seen. These were the last two people I saw until Friday. I was nervous that I may have some people in there, as I have never seen Island Lake empty. I was prepared to move up to Fire Lake if there were too many people at Island Lake. I continued over the pass, and was solo all the way in. The hike with the new UL bag was over before I knew it. I arrived to find Island Lake empty. I truly had it all to myself. I arrived at Island lake and it was so quiet and peaceful. I found my way to the camp I was going to stay at and set the pack down and just sat there for a few minutes taking it all in. Then in orderly fashion I got camp set for the next couple of days. I eventually just wandered out to the rock shelf that was a bit out of camp that sits and overlooks the lake. Sunset came to the lake, and I got out the camera and rattled out a few shots. The sun is setting earlier now, so I made my way back to camp for dinner and a beverage. I had a nice night by the fire, but was having trouble with my interval timer that I had just received. I am not sure if it was not communicating with my camera or what the problem was with that. I did manage to get an artsy looking single shot with my fire illuminating all the trees. After a long night with fussing with this timer, I decided to get some rest and turned in.

Thursday morning came with a bit more wind, and some passing clouds from the south. It actually looked threatening as there was no blue sky, but as the morning progressed from the coffee to breakfast, the skies cleared. I put it together and decided to walk up to Fire Lake. I had thought about Big Elk, but I really like Fire Lake, and I always make it a point to visit there. I gave it a whirl at trying to fish, but the wind was so strong, and the water was not good for running a dry fly. I found a meadow that was kind of wind sheltered and just layed there for a bit taking in the clouds moving fast to the north. Kind of daydreamed there for a while. Was really nice. I shot a nice pano of Fire Lake, and then moved on around the lake. Tried fishing some more, but there was just no activity at all. I am thinking full moon put them off. On my way around the lake, I was picking Raspberries to munch on because they are yummy! Eventually I finished my loop of the area and made my way back to camp. I decided on the way up to Fire Lake to go via the part of the lake that I did not go in on. And I made it a loop to get back to camp. I tried fishing again, had a pretty solid bite, but alas no luck once more. I meandered around the lake just taking it all in. I arrived back at camp and got things situated for the evening. The sunset this night was really fun to shoot. I set up my camera and this time my interval timer worked so I was able to get a star trail out of my camera before the clouds moved in. I had a nice night by the fire, just taking in the silence. Although I love to be out with my friends, there is something special about some alone time in your own head. I burned my fire down to ash, then proceeded to my sleeping bag for some much earned rest.

Friday morning arrived and with it came blue skies and slightly cooler temps. Coffee was perfect as I went and sat on the rocks overhanging the lake. The sun came up and warmed me up as I enjoyed my cup of joe. I eventually wandered back to camp and packed it up for the hike out. I left that camp clean! I hope the weekend crowd does the same. I got everything situated and then decided to go chill by the lake one more time before heading out. I made good time on the way out, seeing the first human beings I had seen in nearly three days when I got up to Long Lake. The trail out was a ghost town and I only saw a few hikers after I got over the pass. Arriving at the lot it was about half full, and I had to wonder where everyone was because the trail was empty for the most part on the way out. It was nice to be out in the mountains again, and this solo trip was so fun and very relaxing. Enjoy the slideshow below. More adventures to come.......

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