So.. after Coyote Gulch, the prep trips continued. The first one was a just an over nighter up a local canyon called temple fork. On a Saturday afternoon I just started hiking. I didn’t really have a plan, I just figured i’d go till I got tired. The main gate to the canyon is still locked for winter. So I parked in the parking lot at the bottom of the canyon and started walking up the road. I wanted to follow the stream. The river that comes from temple fork is very small but it does run year round. It is a spawning river used by the native cutthroats in the early spring. Though its not much more than 4 feet across in most spots the river truly is beautiful. I saw multiple trout pretty far up the stream but the higher I got they seamed to disappear. I guess they just cant navigate all the beaver dams.
I continued following the river up a trail marked as the Temple Fork Sawmill. I hiked for a couple hours till i started hitting the snow line. After traversing several snow packs I got tired of sinking into the snow up to my knees and said to myself. “I’m done, I’ll just set my hammock up on this hill.” I climbed up a very steep hill and found 2 suitable trees and set up. It was super windy. my parachute of hammock flapped in the wind trying to take 2 trees with it. When I finished setting up I started walking further up the hill and saw something curious about a 1/4 mile up the trail. Curious, I went back down into the valley and followed the trail a little further and discovered the end of the trail. Where a monument to the sawmill that provided all the lumber for the early settlers of cache valley sat.
After admiring the hard work of the people who settled the nearby valleys. I went back to my hammock on the hill side and realized I can’t tolerate this wind. So, I packed up and decided to head back down and hopefully find a more desirable hang site. Down the trail about a mile down the trail I found that site on the leeward side of a hill above some beaver ponds. I set up and it was calm and comfortable. I crawled in my hammock and prepared for the night.
I slept fairly well (minus the beavers slapping their tails on the water every 45 minutes. If you’ve never heard this sound its extremely loud and tumultuous.) The morning was much colder than expected. Every time I go out hiking I have been testing something new with my sleeping set up. This time I only brought a light fleece liner and a 40 degree summer bag. Needless to say by morning it had gotten below freezing. Thus, I was frigid. So by the time the sun came up I was quite thankful to get up and start moving. I got up made some hot oatmeal and started down the trail.
Thankful to return home safely.