Saturday, October 5, 2019

Pinckney Blind Lake Backpacking Oct '19

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

Oct. 4 Hike In:
  Distance: 4.18 mi.
  Elevation Gain: 246 ft.
  Start Time: 4:53pm
  End Time: 6:51pm

Oct. 5 Hike Out:
  Distance: 4.18 mi.
  Elevation Gain: 221 ft.
  Start Time: 9:04am
  End Time: 11:01am

Trip Report:
This trip was all about another opportunity to get my boys out hiking and backpacking. My two younger boys Jonah and Seth were able to join me this time. Luke had a previous engagement attending a homecoming football game with his girlfriend. Yes, I've reached that stage in life. The younger two though were excited to be able to get out camping. I had given them the choice of backpacking or car camping and much to my delight they chose to backpack.

The hike in would be a race against daylight. We left our house within a half hour after school let out and made the drive to the trailhead and hit the trail as timely as could be done. We knew the hike in would be two hours and we knew that left us with less than an hour til things got dark. Its unfortunate for the rush but it was all we could do.

The weather was very cooperative for us. No rain in the forecast though the skies would remain overcast. The temps were upper 50s for the hike in with an overnight low getting down towards 40. We felt very comfortable hiking in with pants and short sleeves. We brought heavier layers to put on once we hit camp and things got dark. I had us reserve to stay in site 2 this time around. Several others like 1, 3, 9, and 10 were already reserved so I knew we wouldn't be alone. I've been surprised how well Blind Lake seems to be used on the weekends over the summer. We had nice neighbors at site 1 and other than having to walk through their camp upon arrival, and at departure, it worked out nicely. Site 2 and the well used tent pad had plenty of nice privacy for us and made for a great site.

For supper I had 3 MRE's left in my supply and so we planned to use those up. Two of us had spaghetti while the other had a chicken breast with herb seasoning. The spaghetti's were fine, although my heater didn't quite get it as warm as I would like. Surprisingly the chicken breast had no heater so I put that one in for awhile with the spaghetti heaters. The chicken breast was pretty decent.

We had debated making a fire and I had brought supplies to do so, but given the finite amount of time before dark we mutually decided on no. We also had aspirations of relaxing to a movie together in the tent and the boys opted on that over sitting out in the cold around a fire. The prospect of crawling into a nice warm sleeping bag to relax was pretty high.

The hiking was a little rough on my younger son Seth. He suffers from exercise-induced asthma and his build at this point in life isn't quite conducive to strong hiking or running. Jonah on the other hand has started a good growth spurt recently and is coming into his own physically. He was a strong hiker and seemed to enjoy it. Seth kept concerning himself with how much further we had to go and I kept attempting to distract the mind with him to help the time pass better.

We spent the evening watching a movie on my tablet and were all pretty tired at its finish and so went to sleep. We had a pretty good night and everyone kept nice and warm despite the cooling temps. We woke just after first light in the morning and began tearing down camp. In addition to the MRE's I did bring my stove and fuel so we could heat water for hot cocoa in the morning. This was a welcome way to warm up in the morning and worth the weight of the stove and pot.

All in all, the boys and I enjoyed our brief excursion. I hope they continue to learn more about backpacking and grow in their joy of their outdoors with these little trips.


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