King's Peak Attempt
As the title suggests, this was just an attempt and boy was it fun. Coltin on the other hand laments the trail to Elkhorn crossing, not due to how steep it was but rather how long it was. When I say long, I really mean LOOOONG! Using my GPS I recorded seven miles to Elk horn Crossing not the five miles listed in my Uintas hiking guide. We left the house with the intent to try and locate the elusive Ptarmigan, a small white bird that likes to live at the highest and most remote of places. It was a Thursday and I had four days planned, I had just picked up a Kelty external frame back pack I found on KSL. At home it felt great even with the forty pounds I had in it, I was convinced it would be more comfortable than my Divide pack. Boy, was I wrong, but I digress, we jumped into my truck and started our long journey through Mountain view Wyoming to the Henry's fork trailhead.
Coltin had just gotten new glasses and he looked very handsome in them, even while tired and yawning. We made it to the trailhead around five pm and slung our packs and hit it. We hiked in looking for Alligator lake and ended up passing it right by. We ended up hiking up away from the trail and camping near a small stream on the edge of a meadow.
There was a Moose on the opposite side of the meadow bedded down and didn't seem to mind us sharing the area. It was a little cold overnight and I slept pretty good as I recall. We were up early and back on the trail soon after the sun came up. We made it to Elk horn and started looking for the crossing that according to everything I have read about this trail says the bridge gets wiped out nearly every year.
We did have one other member of our family with us, my stubborn German Short haired pointer, Padmay. She even had her own pack and was quite the spectacle on the trail, we received many comments about her energy and pack.
I needed to see if she could handle the miles needed to hunt Ptarmigan; my worries were unfounded!
Along the trail we ran into several scout troops and quite a few solo hikers. Everyone was friendly and willing to offer advice on the best route to avoid the mud that was covering some parts of the trail. My favorite part of this trip had to be the views.
We made it to Dollar lake and it had been hit hard, there was no activity at all. I was sure all of the fish were hiding in the deepest part of the lake and didn't want a thing I threw at them. We didn't stay long and started heading to Gunsight pass.
The above picture is one of my favorites and this view was the reason I decided to check out Henry's fork lake and let the approaching storm blow by. We diverted and started toward the lake. Shortly before the lake we ran into this old cabin.
There is a sheep herder that uses it to store fuel and other items, it was neat to see it on the way. We had a small reprieve from the storm and we went to check out Henry's.
Once we arrived at the lake we started to fish and then the storm came back with a vengeance. I only got a few casts in when we had a lightening strike about a 100 yards from us. Man was I freaked out, my hair was standing on end and you could smell ozone in the air. Everything had a static charge to it and at that instant we headed back to the truck. This was only my second trip and my biggest fear was having something happen to me and Coltin would have to make it out on his own! It still makes my heart sink to think about him at 10 years old trying to find help if something happened to me. We hiked no stop for thirteen miles and to this day I still feel it was the toughest hike I have been on. This is also when I discovered that external frame packs SUCK! The entire trail I seriously contemplated just burying everything I had just to stop the pain! We made it back to the truck in about five hours and drove straight home. I didn't see one bird on this trip and I haven't been back, I do regret not going over Gunsight pass to get a better look at Kings peak, I hope to redo this trip soon.