Friday, September 7, 2012

Labor Day Friday: Windfall Lake Cabin

When I returned from Florida it was time to pack for another trip. We had reserved the Windfall Lake cabin and invited our friends J&J and dog Dixie to join us for the overnight trip.Dixie somehow cut herself in the car, so we were concerned about her, but she didn't act hurt so we carried on with our plans.  

This is a 3.5 mile hike with 100 foot elevation gain. To truly attempt packrafting, Mr. X carried the packrafts while I carried all our camping gear and food. Seemed to work well. 

We arrived at the cabin about 9 pm. Mr. X and I walked up the trail another 20 minutes to get some good water for filtering. He didn't mention all the bear scat we passed in the dark, which I'm grateful for. When we returned to the cabin we watched the blue moon rise over the mountain. It was a beautfiully calm night. The only downside was the guy who was hanging out at the cabin and who camped nearby...not happy about him! We played a game of Uno, ate cheesecake and then hit the sack.

In the morning, Mr. X and I went rafting. I was just planning a paddle around the lake but we ran into the Juneau Ranger District Trail crew camped at the portage (they had taken the cabin's canoe). The crew leader recommended that we take the lake outlet. So we did. This was a quiet spot and all overgrown by trees and lilypads that I almost felt like I was in the bayou. We turned around as soon as we could hear the roaring Herbert Glacier River. Apparently the river is raftable, but I'm chicken.

When we returned to the cabin, J&J had started the woodstove and breakfast was waiting for us...we should always camp with them.

The prior evening I was too tired to enjoy s'mores, but I managed to eat a few for my after breakfast snack - I've been wanting s'mores for months so I wasn't going to miss my last chance of the season. Here I am preparing my stick.

J and Mr. X were pleased to find a hose in the cabin. Mr. X hooked it up to the packraft inflation bag and they created an awesome bellows.

J pulled out his fishing pole and caught a small salmon quickly. He released it and kept fishing for trout; lots of nibbles but no good bites.  

The trail crew had been out for the week and it was time to camp elsewhere. Ward air flew in a Super Otter to pick up two of the crew and their gear. They offered us a ride, but we had both cars at the trail head. Watching the float plane had J and Mr. X talking about Lake Florence on Admiralty Island...we'll see if that happens. 

On our way out we saw more of the work that the trail crew has been doing. They replaced several of the smaller bridges with sturdy new ones. They've also replaced any broken planks and raised planking that has sunk into the muskeg.

We reached the trailhead just as it started to rain in earnest. We were glad we weren't the next group just heading out with 3 tiny dogs and a 6 month old baby in a stroller. Can you say mud?

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