Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kaleetan Lake 8.14.07

With a promotion more than doubling my work week and the birth of my second daughter finding time for the trails has been challenging. After the longest summer gap between trips I was more than eager to get out. Trying to make up for lost time I wanted as many miles as I could fit into a day. I was interested by some old reports claiming that there is a old trail from Kaleetan Lake to Caroline Peak. There is no short way to Caroline's summit and this certainly wouldn't be the shortest. I had been to Kaleetan once before on a day hike and knowing the length I wasn't thrilled to have to start at the Pratt Lake trailhead instead of the shorter Talapus Lake trailhead. As usually the case I was running behind and didn't leave the car until nearly noon. Of late I have had some boot problems, either my feet have grown a half size or my boots have shrunk. I chose to wear sandles until the Kaleetan Lake Trail. I dumped pack and switched to my boots..... too bad for me they have become even worse fitting. It was obvious to me they were a no go. I just left them next to the trail and put my sandles back on. I was a little concerned about wearing sandals on a long forgotten trail but much to my surprise the trail was in great shape. I steamed into Kaleetan and had a well deserved dinner. To keep from being eaten alive by the bugs I did some scouting for the rumored trail. I didn't have any success. The area North of the outlet is very brushy so I poked around the marshy area which bypassed the worst of the brush giving me access to more open forest. With little time left it was back to the business of making my way back to the car. As I was crossing the Pratt River I heard a low flying chopper which was obviously looking for a lost hiker. It flew less than a hundred feet directly over my head. By the time I made it to the junction above Pratt Lake it was time for the headlamp. Only seeing one person the entire day I was suprised to see a flashlight heading towards me below the Ollalie Lake turn-off. I was even more suprised to see a man leading a young child and wife. It appeared to me the wife was less than pleased about not yet being at Ollalie Lake. Not too long after I again saw some headlamps making there way towards me. This time it was 3 guys making their way in to search for the missing hiker. I gave them some info and again was off in the darkness. I very gingerly made the rest of the way to the car.

22+miles 5800ft of climb 10:45 car to car

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