Friday, June 28, 2024

Pinckney Blind Lake Backpacking Jun '24

This was my first backpacking adventure of 2024. Most of the year to this point has been spent training for the Silver Rush 50 which is coming up in just over a week. This adventure was an excuse to get away for some camping and couple it with my last big long run before the race.

Trip Info:
Potawatomi Trail
Trailhead Elevation: 888 ft.

June 27 Hike In
Distance: 6.80 mi. 
Elevation Gain: 767 ft.
Start Time: 4:59pm
End Time: 7:09pm

June 28 Trail Run
Distance: 10.53 mi. 
Elevation Gain: 1064 ft.
Start Time: 6:38am
End Time: 8:37am

June 28 Hike Out
Distance: 4.12 mi. 
Elevation Gain: 572 ft.
Start Time: 9:14am
End Time: 10:37am

Trip Report:
I used the Osprey Volt pack for this one deciding I wanted to experience the big pack for the first time in awhile. I carried in 3 liters of water figuring 2 for the hiking and cooking and 1 for the morning trail run. I ordered a Mountain House Rice and Chicken for supper off Amazon and carried it along. This would be my first time testing out my new Nitecore UT27 Pro headlamp. I had my heavier Sierra Designs winter bag along for this trip as our other good down bags were being used with Sarah and the boys on the Youth group Mystery Trip.

I ended up planning this for a Thursday night as the Friday night weather was and Blind Lake was already booked full. At one point Site B8 opened up but I really didn't want the site near the bathrooms. My work scheduled allowed for my Thursday into Friday adventure. I left worked on Thursday and headed home to grab gear and head out quickly. I made it up to the park just before 5p, checked in at the main office, and then hit the trail. Weather was mid 70s and mostly sunny. In the woods the humidity was still lingering so I was glad it wasn't any warmer. I only stopped once on the way in and otherwise just kept a steady pace.

When I made it to camp the other three groups were already there. I had seen that B2, B4 and B10 were also taken. I chose B4 this time around haven't used it in awhile. It is a nice spot with access to the lake and plenty of flat for the tent. I got my Quarter Dome 2 tent setup and then fired up the stove to boil water. During and after supper I was watching pre-race coverage videos from Freetrail and Singletrack for the Western States 100 which is coming up two days. I got enough signal at camp to handle YouTube.

I hit the tent around 9p. Temps were dropping to mid 50s overnight but it was still comfy out when I went inside. The mosquitos had been nibbling on the trail and at camp so I didn't feel like sitting outside for too long. I had an okay night trying to get comfy in my bag. Stayed plenty warm but just felt a little sticky in there wearing only shorts and having some sweat residue from the hike in.

I woke right around 6am and set about getting ready for the morning run. Had some quick snacks for breakfast and got my vest ready to go. I had designed a lollipop loop from Blind Lake heading back up to the Shortcut and then running the north section of the Poto counter-clockwise. I was surprised to find some new trail being worked on on the east half of the north section. In the segments just north and just south of Patterson Lake road there was new trail diverting from the old. I was wondering in the south part if it was to create some distances from the compound. On the north side I think it looked like it was to avoid the access road to Gosling Lake.

I was very thankful the morning temps were upper 50s as the lingering humidity in the air still made for a sweat fest. I had carried a liter of water with Roctane in half of it. I also ate a Gu along the way to fuel things. I worked in regular short walks to keep the knees happy from my patellar tendonitis. I also just didn't need an overly difficult effort with race day 10 days out.

After the run I got camp packed up and hit the trail to hike out. I was taking the 4-mile short route out today. Much like the hike in I just wanted to keep moving and so really wasn't even stopping to take drinks. This proved to be a mistake. I knew I was getting thirsty but I thought I could push it to the car. I stopped at one point to relief myself and found that I was streaming out something like dark apple juice. Big mistake. So I pounded what water I had left and when I hit the car pounded it as well. I even stopped on the drive home for chocolate milk and then had a Chick-fil-A lunch with a large lemonadae to keep re-hydrating.

I didn't feel dehydrated during the run and drank my full liter, but I think the night before I drank very little and didn't calculate how much I had sweated out from all the activity. Otherwise the hike out was fairly uneventful other than the mosquitos keeping me a bit too much company.

I have a track and waypoints from the activity all contained in the embedded Google Map. Check it out and use at your own risk.

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