My second backpack and the first time I've had inclement weather on a hike this year... however, the inclement weather didn't stick around too long. Other than discovering the night before that I had the wrong size backpack (per the recommendation of the incorrect measurements
I got from REI), I tried to make the pack as comfortable as possible for our steep decline to West Clear Creek. And steep is definitely the operative word. It didn't seem so bad at the time but I wasn't thinking, oh yeah, we gotta come back up that
The creek and canyon area are quite beautiful indeed; lush and incredibly GREEN! So off we went up the creek (and yes, a paddle would have been nice about 1/2 way through) crossing back and forth a couple times but mostly keeping to the east side. The hike description said there may be a wet crossing along the way but waist deep wasn't insinuated... or was it
One person dipped her camera and several of us got the bottom of our packs wet. On the way back, one person about went in twice and he also dunked his camera. I guess there's nothin' like swimmin' with the crawfish. (Kat, I stayed upright
We set up our tents/hammocks scattered under the trees and had a campfire out on the sand bar where someone had set up a nice fire ring and had actually created two rock chairs too. We then went exploring a little side canyon as the clouds, thunder and lightning rolled in. And not more than about 1/2 hour later, we heard the rush of the wind and then the rain came down. It didn't last long. I used my weather skills to predict sunshine at 5PM. We got our sun at about 4:40 and were able to enjoy our environs for the rest of the day including taking in the beauty of the canyon walls, watching the many swallowtails who entertained us and the frogs who serenaded us.
It was a chilly nite in my new tent so I had to add an extra layer of clothing and then I was fine. All of my new equipment seemed to work well except firing up the stove took me three tries 'til I got it right. I have to say, as I said a couple times on this trip, "It seems everything with backpacking is so involved".
Ken will vouch for me on that.
We left our campsite at around 9:30 AM on Sunday and were back at the trailhead around 11 AM. This time we avoided the waist deep water and only got wet to the tops of our legs. It was a tough haul out of the canyon, but fortunately not very long. It's one of those trails where you think you are almost at the top because you seem closer to the sky only to be fooled by another switchback.
I met a few new people and some of the people from this site and other sites. Thanks to ABC and Te-Wa for putting this together. I have to say, I haven't met a person through this site and other sites that hasn't been totally delightful, supportive and willing to help. Oh, and a sidenote: "Chris, I have some shoes to match that fuschia outfit you have