Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Camping 3: Pamelia Lake

August catch-up: Part 4

For our next camping trip (August 20-22), we went backpacking with grandkids again. Make that grandkid. Josh, now 12, got a "boy outing." We also invited Nathan, a 12-year-old from our ward.

Our destination was Pamelia Lake, just a little ways past Detroit Lake, off Hwy 22. I had been there once, over 20 years ago, back when I was the Assistant Scoutmaster over the 11-year-olds. (They used to call us Blazer Scout Leaders back in the much easier to say.)

We planned to spend 2 nights at Pamelia Lake so we could enjoy some exploring and fishing in the area. It is such a beautiful place! If you plan to go, be sure to contact the Detroit Ranger Station ahead of time for your wilderness permit - they are pretty strict about keeping a lid on the number of people accessing this area at any given time.

The next few photos are of Josh (dark hair) and Nathan (blond hair) on the way to Pamelia Lake. The trail is about 2 miles, with a steady uphill grade the whole way. The trail roughly parallels Pamelia Creek, so we were constantly within earshot of rushing water, and the scenery was beautiful all the way in.

The boys had so much energy! I had a hard time keeping up with them.

We imposed upon another hiker to snap a photo of all 4 of us: Me, Josh, Nathan, Mark

Pamelia Lake has 13 designated camp sites. Usually when we go backpacking, we can be pretty flexible about where we make our camp, but in places that have been "loved to death," the rangers have indicated where you can camp and make fires (with a steep fine if you break the rules). There were only two other camp sites being used when we arrived, so we were able to find a site with a fire ring...always a plus when camping with 12-year-old boys!

The view of Pamelia Lake from our camp site. The mountain in the center of the photo is in Hunt's Cove. I had hoped to day hike to see the area, but we'll save that part of the outing for next time.

Another lake shot - the boys went swimming both afternoons. At this end of the lake, there are a number of logs that have sunk at one end, and the other end sticks up out of the lake. The logs made great swimming destinations / diving platforms for the boys during their swims. The weather was warm enough that the boys were glad to enjoy the cool water.

Mark and I optimistically set up our tent without the rain fly. However, at 1:30 am on the first night, Mark was awakened by thunder...and it wasn't long before the drops began to fall on our faces! We threw on our boots and scurried around in the dark, getting our tent all snug and dry. We always put plastic garbage bags over our packs at night, so all of our gear was fine. We chuckled at ourselves, then went right back to sleep. The next morning the sun was shining and we had another beautiful day!

Smart boys - they already had their rain fly on their tent. They slept through the nighttime weather.

The next morning we took a day hike to Grizzly Mountain. Love the sound of that name - like something out of an adventure story! Our contour map showed that it would be a steep 3 miles to the top of the mountain...but we had high hopes of fabulous views, so off we went!
The trail to Grizzly Peak. Lots of lush growth. The trail was not only steep, it was narrow in places.

Every so often along the way, the forest would open up and give us tantalizing views of Mt. Jefferson. It's only a few miles away from Pamelia Lake, but the lake is in such a steep bowl that you can't see the mountain from the lake. It was fun to get a sense of how close we were to the mountain. (Josh, Nathan)

And we did enjoy some wonderful views from the top of Grizzly Mountain. To the south, we could see Three-Fingered Jack. We could also see 2 of the Three Sisters mountains...tried to take a photo, but they just look like clouds in the distance. You'll have to trust me!

And you could just barely see Mt. Hood peeking over the hills beyond Mt. Jefferson. The top of Grizzly Peak had a nice area to sit and eat our lunch and enjoy the view.

And down at our feet...Pamelia Lake! A long ways down. We wished we could take a zip line back down to our camp site.
Love this shot of the boys on top of Grizzly Mountain with Mt. Jefferson in the background. I love hiking with our kids!

Lovely early morning view of the lake (second morning).

The "pantry" of our camp kitchen. By the second morning, I was making piles to figure out what we needed for breakfast and for lunch. I didn't want to haul any of the food back out!

Of course we hung the food in a "bear bag" (it ought to be called a "chipmunk bag") at night and whenever we were all out of camp exploring. This is our food on the second morning. Lunch in the foreground, breakfast in the background.

A new food prep experience for me - Nathan can't have gluten, so I learned about gluten-free backpacking foods, and figured out some ways to prepare some old favorites without gluten. Nathan brought along his own gluten-free crackers. All in all, it was simpler than I thought it might be at first.
Here's our fire ring and camp kitchen. The grey and blue rectangles are "sit-upons." They are lightweight pieces of old sleeping pads. Makes it so much comfier to sit-upon a log. You can see the pink food bag in the corner of the logs, and our clean dishes along the far log. The cooking pot is sitting on the little backpacking stove, just on the other side of the fire ring rocks. The boys liked the food - Nathan said he would come any time that I pulled the menu together!

Both boys were great about taking care of their gear. Here Nathan's getting everything secure on his pack as we're getting ready to leave our camp site. 

After a hearty lunch of gluten-free macaroni and cheese, we hiked back along Pamelia Creek to the car. No damage to the windows this time! Hooray! (Josh, Nathan)

All in all, we had a delightful backpack with the 12-year-old boys. Everyone (kids and adults) agreed that it worked well for the younger girls to have their own outing, and then for the older boys to have an outing on their own. Josh and Nathan worked on some merit badge requirements and they were well-matched in their outdoor abilities and energy.


Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Looks like everyone had fun!

I am curious, what did the shirt say that Josh was wearing on the hike in?

Kathy Haynie said...

I {heart} Mt. Pleasant.