Friday, August 25, 2017

Pinckney Blind Lake Backpacking Aug '17

Potawatomi Trail:
Pinckney State Recreation Area
Trailhead Elevation: 888 ft.

Aug. 24 Hike In: 
  Distance: 4.56 mi. 
  Elevation Gain: 167 ft.
  Start Time: 5:49pm
  End Time: 7:58pm

Aug. 25 Hike Out:
  Distance: 4.27 mi. 
  Elevation Gain: 156 ft.
  Start Time: 10:18am
  End Time: 12:15pm

Trip Report:
In my 2nd annual boys backpacking trip this year I got Jonah to join Luke and I as we headed up to Pinckney for a hike into Blind Lake. We had company coming into town on Friday night so we made this a Thursday night excursion. It was two weeks til school starts so we had to make a go of it before then.

We left the house just after 4pm heading for the Dexter area. We hit major traffic in Dexter (unusual?) but got up to Pinckney and on the trail just before 6p. We registered for site #1 which has become one of my favorite spots. We packed my 4-person REI Half Dome 4, we each had sleeping bag and mattress pads. We knew the overnight lows would hit upper 40's so we each brought a sweatshirt and long pants. We packed MRE's for supper. I also packed my basic cooking gear so we could boil water for hot chocolate. It wasn't exactly a light packing for just one night.
We also carried 3 Liters of our own water wanting to avoid the well water taste at Blind Lake. We did end up filing up 2 more Liters from the well for the hot chocolate and thankfully mixed in with the powder the well taste seemed to go away. The hiking was in perfect low 60 temps. We parked near the biking trailhead and walked the parking lots over to the Silver Lake trailhead so we could have a slightly different start route. We followed the south end of the Crooked Lake trail over to Pickerel where we joined the main Poto heading west to Blind Lake. The boys hiked well as they were staying occupied following Pokemon Go on their phones. They've really taken to this game in recent weeks and the augmented reality portion of it makes them actually want to get outside and walk and explore. So I ran a data hotspot on my phone so they could try and stay connected out on the trail looking for new Pokemon to catch. While the data wasn't always consistent it gave the boys something to think and talk about. We encountered a handful of bikers and perhaps 2-3 other hikers. It was around 8p when we made it to Blind Lake. We found one other man camping there by the lake. We hit our site and I set about getting supper going. I helped the boys start their cookers for their MREs while I got the tent going. Jonah was eating beef ravioli, Luke had spaghetti. I would end up trying the beef brisket. This was the first time I'd been to Blind Lake since they put in the new outhouse and also new picnic tables. We heated up water and enjoyed hot chocolate after finishing eating and it was getting dark. It felt pretty cool as it darkened and we each put a sweatshirt on. It was about 9:30 when we all finally got into the tent. We watched a few TV episodes on my tablet and just relaxed. It was about 11:30 when we finally went to sleep. I had gone the pillow case route instead of my inflatable pillow and like that for tonight. I slept fairly well, getting up just once because my feet were cold. I realized they were hitting the ground and dangling off the end of my mattress pad, so I scooted up and was fine. In the morning I started waking around 7:30a but noticed the boys were still out, so I tried to stay asleep for awhile in my bag til 8:30a when I finally got going. I hopped out and got our food bag down from the trees and started to boil water. I got the boys up just after 9a and had to wake them. Iwas surprised how well they slept and stayed asleep. I got them up to eat breakfast and drink their hot chocolate. Once they were out we worked on getting our bags packed. I got the inside and outsides of the tent packed up. It was mostly dry except the ground cloth which had picked up some ground moisture. We finally got out of camp just after 10a. On the hike out the boys hoped for good data signal so they could hunt Pokemon again but we didn't have much luck. We had almost a dozen bikers come by us on our morning hike. This time we tookt he more southern side of the Silver Lake Trail stopping by the stone fireplace for the boys to check it out. We made it out to the car just after noon. I was surprised how well the boys handled the hike. They were only carrying their sleeping bag, pad, and clothes but they handled the bigger packs well without complaint. This was definitely a winner and we look forward to more.

I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk). 

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