Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Starting School!

This week started Taylor's biggest adventure yet - beginning college at Montana State University.  We had the truck loaded up and we were off at 4:30AM for the long drive to Bozeman, Montana.  After a short 8 hours, we pulled into the front of North Hedges - Taylor's home for the next five months.  We slowed down just enough to throw all her stuff out of the back of the truck and we were out of there!

Wait, that wasn't what happened. There was no way we could throw all her stuff out while the truck was moving - there was just way too much of it.

Taylor and all her stuff ready to be carried to her room

We spent an hour setting up a loft for her bed before walking around the campus enjoying Catapalooza.

Dad enjoying the time setting up the loft.

Taylor enjoying the room the loft has to offer

Some Catapalooza activities:

Blindfolded rock climbing
Free food - a college kids dream!

Slack lining

After getting Taylor settled, the rest of the Fadgens decided on partaking in one of Bozeman's most popular hiking destinations - Sacajawea Peak, the highest mountain in the Bridger's.  This was a short 4 mile round trip up a gorgeous basin to the summit at 9665 feet.  Other than a little wind and haze from forest fires, it was a great day with amazing views.

Summit photo
 On the way down we spotted a nanny and kid climbing up to the ridge.  We sent Dylan off to give chase and here is one of his pictures:

Sacajawea Peak

Bozeman is a beautiful place and we know that Taylor will enjoy it.  We already miss you Zoopies and it's only been one day.  Have fun and study hard.

Love you.
Dad, Mom, and Dylan.

Above Imogene Lake in the Sawtooths

This past weekend Dylan invited his buddy, Max to come along with us on our annual backpacking trip.  The plan this year was to head into the Sawtooths and then veer off up to camp at an isolated lake away from the typical summer crowds.  We arrived at the Upper Hell Roaring trail head after an extremely rough 45 minute ride on an unmaintained road to the trail head, packed up and headed out.

The trail wasn't too bad on the way to Imogene Lake and we made great time.  Here we stopped to rest and fish before heading to our destination, Lake 8733. 
Imogene Lake
 However, the trail after Imogene was a little rougher than the one before.  After some bushwacking, we finally found a small trail but it petered out at the base of a rock slide below Lake 8733.  Dylan led the way as we boulder hopped our way up. 

After a little difficulty we made it to our lake.

Lake 8733

The next morning we were up and heading to our destination for the day - Mount Cramer, the second highest Sawtooth peak.  The plan was to bring our fishing gear, drop it off at the ridge, climb the peak, retrieve our gear on the way down, and fish at a lake at 9400 feet called Profile Lake.

Heading up from 8733

We started off heading straight up and it stayed that way until we hit the main Southwest ridge to Mount Cramer.  Here the slope lessened a bit before the last rocky push to the summit.  After a little over an hour we were on top of the second highest peak in the Sawtooths at 10,716 feet!  The views were fantastic, however the wind was howling and clouds were rolling in so we signed the summit register and started down.

Summit photo - nice hat!
We fished for a few hours at Profile Lake catching some nice cutthroats and enjoying the scenery.  The clouds continued to move in and as we started down it was threatening rain.  After a quick dinner the rain and wind started in earnest and we headed for our tents for the night.  It was a little wild at times with the howling wind, but Sunday morning was clear and calm.

Profile Lake
Sunday was spent hiking around the area looking for lost items and fishing.  While the boys were off screwing around I headed to the inlet of Lake 8733 for some great fishing.  After an hour and twelve nice cuts landed, I headed out to find the boys so they could enjoy the great fishing.  I brought them back to the inlet and they proceeded to catch another half dozen fish.

Sunday afternoon we packed up camp and headed down to Imogene Lake.  The thought was that there would be less people on Sunday and we would be that much closer to the truck when we hiked out on Monday.  Dylan found us a great camp site that he had been to last month close to a large island.  We quickly set up camp so the boys could start fishing again.  Here it was all Brookies with a single cut mixed in.  Max caught the monster at this lake as you can see below.  He even packed in a cast iron skillet!

Monster of Imogene

That evening was another fun one.  We had a little rain, a little hail, and even a little snow.  Once again it was early to the tents due to the weather.  Monday dawned clear and cold.  We didn't have a thermometer, but there was frost in the boys tent so it was definitely below freezing.

On the hike out we ran into several groups on the way up that told us the road had been blocked by a couple of trees.  Apparently no one had the ability to clear it so they just parked and started hiking.  We however had a chain and a saw.  Not a chainsaw, but a chain and a hand saw.  It took us 15 minutes to clear the fall and we were on our way home.  Another great trip!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On Daughters

Some have said that a father and daughter share a special bond.  I know that Tam and I have a very special daughter in Taylor.  She is a beautiful young lady who has always exceeded our growing expectations, is a joy to be around, and has a very bright future.

Our backpacking trip last weekend, before she heads to Montana State University for college, got me thinking back to all the previous trips she and I have shared.  She was the inspiration to start these annual backpacking trips with the kids.  A time with father and daughter away from all the stress of the real world.

We started this when she was eleven years old having no idea if or how long these annual trips would last.  As it turns out, other than a two year absence, they have occurred every year.

The first year, 2003, we selected Box Lake outside of McCall. This trip occurred in late June and started out great.  The problem we ran into was that the lake was still frozen over.  We made due by camping in a meadow next to a snow bank and spent most of our time in the tent due to the mosquitoes.  Taylor probably remembers this trip by the extremely large cinnamon roll she had at the McCall Pancake House before the trip home.

Box Lake Trail Head - 2003
In 2004 we selected another lake close to McCall called Coffee Cup Lake.  This was a short hike into a small valley holding our destination lake.  Taylor had graduated from carrying only her clothes in my day pack to carrying a "normal" backpack.  On this trip we explored another lake close by and Taylor and I saw a pink grasshopper on the way to this lake.

Coffee Cup Lake Trail Head - 2004
Overlooking Coffee Cup Lake (One of my favorites)

2005 saw us get a little more ambitious as we traveled to an area in the Southern Seven Devils Wilderness called Six Lake Basin.  The long drive to the trail head caused for a late start which resulted in us not finding a camping area until dark.  This trip was memorable due to the large heard of elk we sat watching and listening to them talk to one another as they grazed below us.
Six Lake Basin Trail Head
Taylor underneath a large boulder

The next year (2006) we headed for a large group of lakes in the Trinity Mountains called Rainbow Basin. Here we spent a couple of days hiking around viewing the different lakes and climbing up to Trinity Lookout at 9400 feet. We had a good time talking to the lookout attendant and enjoyed her technique in nailing pancakes into the ground so the squirrels could only nibble on them rather than take them away.
Rainbow Basin Trail Head
Taylor enjoying a morning reading.

In 2007, dad got very ambitious and decided that we should hike to some remote lakes in the Sawtooth Mountains by Lake Alturus called Alpine Creek Lakes.  Taylor will remember this trip as the "it's just over this next rise" hike.  This was a long tough hike/climb into some remote lakes at 9100 feet elevation.  This hike was a little tough on Taylor and was probably the reason for not going on a hike the following year.  We tried to climb Snowyside Peak but were shut down when the route proved way too difficult.

Alpine Creek Trail Head
Overlooking Lake 9050

After the 2007 hike we skipped a couple of years.  In addition to the tough hiking the previous year, Taylor became busy with church youth group outings and the summers seemed to slip away.

This summer in recognition of her leaving for college we decided to head back to Box Lake.  This year the lake wasn't frozen and we spent a couple of great nights hanging out fishing, hiking, and reading.

I have greatly enjoyed being able to spend quality time on these trips with my daughter, Taylor.  I really think that this has helped our "special bond".  My hope is that these experiences will help her enjoy the outdoors with her future family.  I also hope that she'll drag her old man out for a hike in 20 years or so.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Box Lake Backpacking with Taylor - Aug 13-15

Since Taylor will be leaving us for college in a couple of weeks we figured we needed to get out for a little father/daughter time.  We chose to return to the location where we had started our backpacking adventures back in 2003 - Box Lake, outside of McCall.   We never made it to the lake that year - it was still frozen!

We pulled up to the trail head at 11:00AM on Friday to find it completely full.  There must have been eight vehicles there!  After I finished cussing, we decided to take our chances and head up.

And up and up.  We had forgotten how steep the trail was, after all we hadn't been there in seven years.  Luckily it clouded up and there was a nice breeze blowing, making for perfect hiking weather.

We took our time on the climb and had to move out of the way for several groups coming down the mountain.  Seems like we timed it right since we counted close to 20 people and three horses leaving the area.

After a couple of hours we reached the high point of the trail and looked down on Box Lake.  It was all downhill from there.

Even though many people had left, the main campsites were all taken.  We had talked to a couple who were leaving and they told us about a nice spot on the other side of the lake.  So after a half hour bushwhack, we arrived at the other end of the lake and a nice camping spot.  By this time the weather had cleared and we enjoyed hanging out for the evening.
Alpenglow on Friday Night
Saturday morning (Taylor didn't wake until 9:30 - teenagers!) dawned clear with a nice breeze - perfect climbing weather.  The plan was to climb a peak in the area and then do some exploring.  After an hour of trudging through brush and deadfall trying to find access to a clear ridge, we decided to give up on the peak idea.  We made a quick detour to camp to pick up the fishing gear and headed down to a couple of lakes a short distance away called Sister Lakes.  We spent a couple of hours here catching small brook trout and eating lunch.  Taylor even showed her skill by catching a couple.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty much spent lying around camp talking and reading.  Once the sun went down we had a fire going while we had dessert - Apple Cinnamon Crisp - delicious!

Before we knew it Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to leave.  Unlike going in, it was a little warmer on the way out.  This did not stop us from enjoying the walk out and stopping for this picture overlooking the lake.

Hopefully, Taylor will have time during her summer breaks to take dad out for another trip.

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen