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TR early October in Cottonwood Lakes

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TR early October in Cottonwood Lakes

Postby balance » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:18 am

I just returned from a five day solo trip into Cottonwood Lakes Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. It was bitter cold and snowing, with snow staying on the ground when I arrived at the trailhead Saturday, Sept 27, so I waited at the walk-in camping until Monday before heading up. What a reward I got for my patience! Water bottle still froze an inch or two at night, but the days were calm and sunny, up into the 60's. Places usually buggy or overrun with people were quiet and restful. Couldn't ask for anything better.

Saw a dear with two fawns, a family of four ducks, watched a pair of coyotes circle a lake looking for food, observed a little green frog the size of the tip of my thumb. Even took a brief swim. Brrrr! All the while, blue skies shining. But I knew, this time of year, it could change in a hurry.

Made one miscalculation. Left my heavy 10 degree sleeping bag at home, and took a Mountain Hardware Phantom 32. That must be just a model number, because it sure won't keep you warm at 32 degrees, although it was a good deal colder than that. Fortunately, my artificial insulation hooded jacket made up the difference. Also, I had both a thin nylon and a fleece balaclava. I believe, ounce for ounce, a balaclava is the warmest piece of clothing you can carry.

But then, isn't that how it goes? We come back from a trip, and no matter how experienced, we can second guess how we shoulda' taken this and shoulda' not taken that. But we manage to be resourceful, make the best of it, and are blessed to experience glorious places and amazing things which relatively few ever do.

Last edited by balance on Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: TR early October in Cottonwood Lakes

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:22 am

This is the time of year I start to take my down booties, down hat, down pants and 0 degree down quilt.

It's a beautiful time to backpack!
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