Saturday, December 06, 2014

18 June 2014 Priest Lake

The Priest Lake area was our main focus for caching. It offered may older caches including Idaho's oldest and hopefully some nice views. Our day started quietly and pleasantly with a multi at Soldier Creek. After that we moved to higher elevation and the weather got misty, foggy, and cold.

Soldier Creek in the morning

On the way to Cougar Cache, Priest Lake was just a hazy outline in the distance.

We spotted some new flowers at the cache site and were hoping the mist was going to burn off. We were able to get a glimpse of Cavanaugh Bay from the cache site.

If you are hitting the trail in this area, you will be finding caches placed by Moun10Bike, the inventor of the geocoin.

Our next journey was our toughest of the trip. We made our first attempt to reach Camel's Prarie and the oldest cache in Idaho. With little information available from the cache page we made what seemed a reasonable start up a trail that headed in the direction of the cache. The trail was old and little used at the bottom, but this was early in the season and a lightly found remote cache. The light trail quickly became overgrown and difficult to navigate. The vegetation was soaked from the low clouds and mist. We were soon soaked by making our way through the thickening vegetation. As we climbed we also entered into the low lying clouds adding to the moisture our clothes and bodies were soaking up. We were a little past halfway to the cache when I convinced Ali our plan was not to be today. We were both completely soaked and the temp was in the low 40's. We were risking hypothermia if we continued forward. We gave up and headed back to the georental.

We headed next to Hunt Falls where we were successful with finding the cache and orchids. There was no readily identifiable path down to the falls. The trail took us along a rocky path parallel to the falls but quite high up. One of the few benefits of our bad luck with rain was that all falls were filled with water on these journeys.

Powerful water

We moved on and opted to hunt for the calmer caches of Priest Lake State Park. While Ali was at the office paying the admission fee, I headed off to scout out a snack at the camp store. I was very happy to spot the camp store and find they had huckleberry ice cream. Fortified with huckleberry shakes we were ready to head back to the trail after watching a few of the marmots near the park office.

Our last find of the evening took us on a short walk along a trail filled with wildflowers and ending with a nice view of Priest Lake. There was still mist hanging over the water, but it was clearly lifting and made me hopeful we would see the sun tomorrow.

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