Invited to go on an overnight backpack trip to Barclay Lake outside Baring, WA., I was beyond glad that we ended up there versus our original destination of Heather Lake off the Mountain Loop Highway. Why? As I often do, I overpacked. I couldn't figure out what I would've left behind (maybe some camera gear) but I made it and was grateful for those who lugged in the wood for our fire... or what was supposed to be our fire.
After we set up camp alongside the lake, within earshot of the small avalanches from the neighboring mountain, we found out the wood I bought had at one point been rained on and dried where as to the naked eye and touch you couldn't tell. It wasn't until we tried to light the fire that after over an hour we had only managed to half cook several cans of soup thanks impart to one of the guys (Malachi) constantly blowing on the few embers to keep them lit.
After being defeated by the flames we walked some distance from our camp to clean our dishes, hang our food in a tree and use the "facilities" before retiring to our mummy bags.
We saw a little rain overnight but the temperature was mild and we woke to a perfect spring day in the mountains. Encouraged by the weather we gave the fire one more try in hopes of brewing some coffee but quickly realized the story had already been written. Time to explore.
With our coats on and cameras around our necks we left the camp behind to see what was beyond the soft layer of fog that was filling the forest in front of us. Because of the snow we soon came to the end of the visible trail and to the mouth of a larger creek that feeds the lake. Not to deep and with Gortex boots a few of us moved on and found an even better campsite for next time, some bear tracks and grand view of Baring Mountain and the surrounding hills.
Not staying too long we met up with the rest of the guys and winded our way back towards camp. Packed up and ready to go we pushed down the trail towards our cars with a few good stories, a short list of what not to do next time and a handful of images of our first adventure this season.