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The Deam Wilderness isn't really remote and it sees a ton of traffic, including lots of horseback riders. I was hoping it was a) early enough in the season and b) snow was in the forecast for Sunday, so I'd have it mostly to myself. That turned out to be the case Sunday as I was coming back in low 30 temps with a howling wind that cracked off the top a pine tree within my sight. Saturday though was a different story with temps in the high 60's and bright sunshine with a full moon that rose around 9 and stayed bright until it clouded up sometime between 4 and 7 am. I counted 4 groups of riders and saw 6 groups of hikers out for the day.
I made the 2 hour drive down Saturday afternoon and parked at the nearly full Grubb Ridge trail head around 2:30. I was in camp at the end of the Peninsula Trail around 5:30 after the search for some stands of Elms got me side tracked. There were some large trees still across the Peninsula Trail, so the last mile and a half of the hike was horse free. This was nice because the ground, even on top of ridges, was still soft and the horses were really making a mess of it in some places. I found a nice spot near the lake, set up camp and explored the shoreline looking for geodes. I got a nice fire going, filtered more water for the walk out in the morning and had dinner around 7:30 while watching the sun set across the lake. By 9:30 I was in my bivvy watching stars and listening to the Great Horned Owl that was prowling the ridge.
When I woke up the next morning at 7 to the sound of turkeys, you could hear the wind in the trees on top of the ridge line. I was thankful that the forecasters were right about the wind's direction and I was able to set up out of it. It was overcast, windy, cold and close to miserable. I broke camp and took off for the car. I saw no one the entire walk out, but did see a tent set up on the windward side of a ridge that would have had a great view of the lake the evening before. This morning, however, it was getting pummeled by the wind.
I'm having a hard time walking fuly upright today, but it was certainly worth it to get out and try a new backpack.
I only took a few pictures.
The view from a ridge line on the way in.
Near the headwaters of Lake Monroe. This is near where I saw the tent on the way out.
The view from my campsite
A friend who lives down in the area said the ground was covered with snow by 3 pm Sunday afternoon. Crazy spring weather without a doubt.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hoosier/ ... 4&actid=63
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