Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A freaky weekend at Valley Forge

1 comment

Saturday morning, November 16th...packed and ready to go.  Loaded the car and drove up Highway 2 for an easy hike to Valley Forge via Red Box Station near Mt. Wilson.  I joined two friends who were willing to brave the cold weather forecasted for this weekend.  Per the weather reports, there was a 20% chance of rain.

I arrive at Red Box Station an hour after leaving my home and shortly after arriving, my friends roll in.  By the looks of it, they encountered rain on the way up - something I just missed apparently.

A fog rolls in a few minutes before our hike.  Visibility becomes poor and we start to wonder if it was a smart idea to do this trip knowing the weather forecast.  Good thing, Valley Forge was only a short 3 mile hike...mostly down-hill too.

We descend down the canyon hoping to escape the rain.  It would be a good idea to have our shelters all pitched before any bad weather rolls in.

The hike itself was very easy but hiking alone on this trip played a number in my head.  You see, I let my friends hike ahead of me.  I figured since the hike to camp was only 3 miles, I didn't have a reason to rush so I opted to start my hike a little later.

The trail to Valley Forge did not look heavily used.  A few spots required you to navigate over downed trees, overgrown brush, and cross a dry section of the San Gabriel River.  A really short trail to camp but one could get lost if not paying attention.  I had a map of the area and constantly checked my bearings to make sure I was always heading due West.

Aside from the trail condition, this was a bit of an odd hike for me.  With the weather the way it was, gloomy, the trail seemed a bit spooky.  Since I was alone on the hike in, every pebble running down the hill sides, every vocalizations you hear from the animals, and the creaking of the trees...it plays a number on your imagination.

I didn't encounter a single soul on the short 3 mile hike.  Considering the weather, I was not at all surprised.  This trail was nice though, definitely something I could take my daughter and son to - they would enjoy the cabins and the other things to see.

I arrived at camp and quickly setup my shelter in case rain were to come.  It was gloomy at camp and thick clouds covered the sun for most of the day...luckily, the rain never came this weekend.  However, the cold did greet us.  We had a full moon on this evening...enough to add to the creepiness.  Topic around the campfire was the possibility of some weirdo with a machete rolling in...I barely slept a wink.

The following morning, temps were as low as 43 degrees in my tent. For the first time, I had to deal with condensation inside my shelter.  The lack of a breeze, cold outside temps, and warm temps inside the shelter made for a perfect recipe for condensation to accumulate.

After my morning cup of coffee, the sun peaks through the clouds...enough to allow me to dry my tent before packing.

We leave our camp having enjoyed another quick overnight in our local mountains.  Happy to have survived a freaky night...seriously something about this trail that just freaked me out!  I felt eyes on me the whole time...definitely taking the kids with me here next time  

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and see you on the trails.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, condensation in small shelters -- there just doesn't seem to be a way around it.