Monday, August 28, 2017

Marjorie Lake, Uinta Mountains- 8.26/27.2017

With August going out sizzling in the valley, I found myself with another shot to get out of the heat and into the Uintas. I was fortunate that my friend Clay and his dog Sekoia were able to join me. We made the drive into the range, and got a parking spot at the Crystal Lake trail head. Dark clouds were looming over the ridge as we put on the packs and made our way in. It sprinkled on us as we climbed the pass. Then it seemed to let up as we made our way down into the basin. Turning at the junction, the drizzle started again and finished almost as fast as it started. After a pleasant walk in the woods we found ourselves at Marjorie Lake. We made our way over to our desired spot and got shop built for the evening. I put the fly rod together as Clay went for a dip in the lake. From the noise he made it must have been pretty cold water. I fished for the better part of the day, missing a ton of fish but landing a few pan fry sized Brookies.

Dusk set in and the sunset was pretty sweet! As the sun got lower in the sky, it cast shadows of the peaks to the west across Haystack Mountain. We settled in with a fire for some dinner and some good conversation. Clay and Sekoia are just plain fun to go backpacking with. Darkness fell and I put my camera out for a star trail and settled in for a few beverages and a warm fire. After a couple of hours I decided to head to the north side of the lake to try to capture the Milky Way. There were so many stars I sat out there for quite a while just taking it all in. Eventually I headed back to camp and decided to turn in. I awoke to clear skies and mild temps. I got some coffee and breakfast going and sat out on the shore for a while. It was just so beautiful up here and the weather could not have been better. Time came to head out so I put on the pack and made my way to the car. This was a great trip with a good friend. It was awesome to be out in the mountains once more! Enjoy the pics! More adventures to come!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cuberant Basin, Uinta Mountains- 8.18/19.2017

A fine batch of weather was on tap for the northern part of Utah. I took it upon myself to take advantage of getting out on trail. I decided since I was going solo I would head into Cuberant Basin for the evening. What kind of trouble could I get into? I set out from Pass Lake trail head and moved rather quickly into Reids Meadow. A solid push from there, and I was standing at the junction to Cuberant Basin. I was going to stop and take a break but I was feeling good and decided to push all the way into my spot for the evening. It was a wonderful walk in there, partly cloudy with some nice temps, and shade most of the way hiking in. Doing the last section to the pass is when the sun came out in force. I sat up there and took a standing break just soaking in the view and nice breeze. On I went into the basin, past #2 and down to #3 for my final stop for the night.

After getting shop set up I decided to do a little fishing as I had a couple of hours before sunset. It was red hot for pan fry brookies which were striking at anything you could throw at them. Eventually dusk set in and I got my fire going and had some dinner. Had a spooky moment right at dark, when my headlamp lit up two eyes low to the ground right outside my camp. Turned out to be a deer which was grazing on the abundance of greenery that has grown this year. Not gonna lie, the adrenaline was coursing through my veins! Was really glad to see that deer go bounding shoreline in front of me. Once I had my camera out for a long exposure, I made my way back to camp and settled in with my fire and some beverages. Eventually, it was time to turn in. I slept pretty soundly only stirring once in the night to adjust my sleeping bag. I awoke to clear skies and cold temps. There was frost on the meadow behind camp. A sure bet that summer is wrapping up in the high terrain. I kind of took my time in camp having some coffee and breakfast. After packing it up I made the hike out. You could not have asked for better weather. The view from Marsell Pass on the way out was spectacular! Cuberant Basin is a place that I have visited every year since 2009. it never disappoints. It was a great trip! Enjoy the pics! More adventures to come!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Dean Lake, Uinta Mountains- 8.5/6.2017

I was fortunate enough to get out backpacking for a very short trip into Dean Lake in the Uintas. I got a very late start so I did not get to the trail head till about 4 PM. I was trying out my new UL backpacking boots sent to me from Keen. The APhlex boot is only 17.6 OZ per boot, and they are waterproof. These boots are made to fit like a running shoe, but give the full support of a hiking boot. They are amazing! I'll give a full report on them later. I made a quick hike in passing Clegg Lake and enjoying the variety of wildflowers which were in full bloom. After a bit of meadow walking from the main trail, I was standing lake side. Not a bad place to be on your birthday. I found my way into the camp I like and got things settled in for the evening. The moon came up over the lake and I had to get a shot of that because the lake was glass. This was going to be a completely clear night and I was excited about the photography opportunities!

I retreated to camp and got my camera ready for a star trail and got my fire going. I put out the camera for a time lapse and made some dinner. It got a bit chilly at 10,360 ft. I was glad to have my insulated jacket. The moon stayed in the southern sky making reflection shots a lot of fun to play with. After some camera fun it was time to turn in for some quiet sleep. I was awoken about 4 AM to the sound of a very large rockfall over by Notch Lake. It echoed through the whole basin. I imagine it must have been pretty large due to the sheer volume of the collapse. I rolled back over and slept in. I awoke to sunny skies with whispy clouds rolling in from the south and west. I took my time getting breakfast and some coffee. I then packed it up because I had birthday dinner plans with my family. The hike out was nice and a unusually empty trail for this area. I got to the lot in an hour and some change and posted up for a bit watching all the people there to climb Mt Baldy. It was a great way to spend a birthday with weather that you just cannot appreciate enough. Enjoy the pics! More adventures to come!