Short overnighter to take advantage of the summer weather. As a result of climate change, the temperatures in mid-October have been closer to what we would see in late August / mid-September.
This was the quietest place I’ve ever slept. I’m not sure if it’s because the lake is in a valley, or if the wind was calm (probably both). Usually I can hear running water, or birds or other animals at night and sleep with ear plugs in. There was an absence of any sound. It was mildly unnerving – but allowed me to get a solid night of sleep.
We left Friday afternoon and hiked the 4 miles to the lake passing 5 people and 2 dogs on their way out. We had the lake to ourselves and only saw one other family when we were collecting water for dinner. When we packed up to hike out to the car on Saturday morning, we counted 68 people and 9 dogs on the trail to the lake.
It’s a testament to the experience everyone wants to have in the backcountry. Unplugging and just resting in nature – but the most popular places are overrun with crowds. A friend who works in the Forest Service told me that a permit proposal in review to limit the number of people who can climb over 9k feet on Mt. Hood. I fully support it. A crowded backcountry trail is quite different then trying to negotiate to pass someone on a 45 degree slope in crampons. The link to provide feedback if interested.
We’re planning to keep backpacking through the winter, this is probably one of the last for this season.