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Huntington Lake Trip 2013

Day 3 of 5

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Monday, June 24th
Corbett Lake

It was noticeably colder in the morning, and we could hear light raindrops hitting the tent. That combination led to us staying in our tent for a while, and we got a late start.

I had originally hoped to hike up to the top of Kaiser Peak on this trip, but the rest of the family wasn't interested. So I had hikes planned for every day except one. Since this looked to be a crummy weather day, I decided to save the other two hikes for later (when the weather would probably be nicer). So I scoured the trail map and did a little web surfing (surprisingly, I got cell phone reception in the campground), eventually deciding on Corbett Lake.

We finally left camp a little before 11am. It was cloudy, but hadn't really rained much -- just a few sprinkles. The forecast called for a chance of rain until around noon, and then cloudy the rest of the day. So I was hopeful we'd be ok.

We started driving up Kaiser Pass Road. I didn't know what I was in store for. After a nice wide two-lane road, it became a one lane road. It was still paved, sort of (with lots of rough road and potholes). There are lots of blind corners and spectacular views -- and mind-numbing drop-offs to the left with no guard rail. But mostly what concerned me was oncoming traffic.

Most drivers were courteous and we passed each other easily. In fact there wasn't a lot of traffic, since this was a late Monday morning. Still, we had one time when an oncoming car stopped about 30 feet in front of us, then backed up and stopped, inviting us to go ahead and pass on the left, right next to the steep drop-off. Later, a guy towing a boat came barreling downhill way too fast, leaving us barely enough time to get out of the way. But those were the only two incidents. Mostly, I kept wondering how long it was going to take. Part of the problem is that my map wasn't quite accurate about what was paved and what wasn't, and it wasn't clear to me that the right turn I was supposed to make was actually a "bear right" instead of a "turn right". So I was beginning to think we were way off and I was thinking of turning around, but then we passed Portal Forebay (a lake), which told me that we were nearly to the trailhead.

We finally made it to the trailhead and hiked to Corbett Lake.

After the hike, we drove back along Kaiser Pass Road. This time I felt a little better since I'd seen the road already. There was probably even less traffic on the way back. Still, the drop-offs remained, and as we approached Kaiser Pass the road became slick from earlier rain. Soon it was a heavy mist and then actual, undeniable rain. In fact it looked liked it had been raining on the Huntington Lake side of the pass most of the afternoon. We made our way down to the mini-mart for some snacks, then returned to camp. We were happy to get a fire started despite the occasional raindrops. Then it was more s'mores before bed.

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