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Inyo National Forest

Started by Big J, August 03, 2020, 10:49:44 AM

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Big J

August 05, 2020, 19:14:53 PM #45 Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 19:20:30 PM by Big J
Quote from: Woolly Bugger on August 05, 2020, 18:49:30 PMWhat map(s) did you find to be most useful / accurate in planning? How was navigation? GPS or old school?

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Old school. We ordered 4 Tom Harrison topo maps to plan this trip. Ended up taking the Tom Harrison Mount Whitney High Country map.

And I had my GPS watch and Doug had his GPS. We only fired them up a couple times mainly to see how much further we had on a couple of the hikes.
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Big J

Quote from: Onslow on August 05, 2020, 19:08:28 PMLove the campsite. Love all of this.

What kind of trees were camping under?

Aside from the overgrown groundhogs, did at any point you feel threatened by predatory wildlife such as mountain lions?  I have a boner for Beartooth Wilderness (Rosebud Creek watershed) north of Yellowstone, but I suspect there are black bears, grizzlies, wolves up there.  I camped at Crandall Creek near Clark Fork in 1993, the moon was full, there were animal shadows casting upon my tent.  Needless to say, I was a little creeped out. Thinking wolf.  Seems like the Sierras may be a better choice for high adventure. I've seen lots of kayaking vids of Cherry Creek, Kings, but the scenery pics you've posted are far more attractive than anything I've seen.





Nothing threatening. Doug has a Coyote pass him on the Trail back from fishing Cottonwood Lake 4. Said it barely even looked at him. The Horse wrangler said most of the bears are south of us where food is easier pickins. The Mitter basin is rumored to have quite a few mountain lion but we didn't see any. Wondering if it's like Hiner's "rattlesnake dens" he claims are on every brookie stream.
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Dougfish

August 05, 2020, 20:52:03 PM #47 Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 20:55:44 PM by Dougfish
Nothing disturbed our bear cans any night.
Nothing bigger than the rogue coyote was seen.
Nights in the tent were peaceful.
My perennially sore shoulders bothered me more than what was outside the tent.

Two to three species of pine were the entire tree population.
One was the predominate.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

RiverbumCO

My real name is Chad Farthouse.

Dougfish

Ponderosa is a Rockie tree. Tamarac/Lodgepole is the biggie. Limber is number two.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Big J

Day 7 was the day we were going back over New Army Pass.  We woke up at 5 am, ate breakfast, broke down camp, and hit the trail by 6:45. Was able to get over the first big ascent towards New Army Pass before the sun got on us which was a drastic help on the day.  While temps only got to mid 60's most day, long hikes with no relief from the sun would really zap you.  We made it to the top of New Army Pass by 9 am and we didn't pass a single person on the way up.  Short break at the top and with the relief of knowing the rest of the hiking for our trip would be downhill.  We passed a couple groups going up New Army Pass with one group trying to make it all the way to Guyot Pass by nightfall.  Highly doubt that group made it as quite a few were lagging behind on New Army Pass and they still had a long way to go to Guyot. 

We arrived at Cottonwood Lake 3 to reclaim our campsite from night 2.  We were immediately taken back by how many more people where in the Cottonwood area as opposed to the previous weekend.  It was literally crawling with people.  Campsites of 5 or 6 tents were everywhere.  A group of 6 girls who looked like they were out of a Hiner Filson magazine having girls trip was across the way.  It was interesting to say the least.  We set up camp and Doug talked me into going up to Cottonwood Lake 4 and 5 which was a 1.5 mile hike from our campsite.  Ran into groups of people on the way up and even ran into the horse wrangler who was back up in Penstock Meadow a few days ago.

Lake 4 took a little figuring out but ended up finding a cove where the fish were working a flat.  I caught one eventually on a brown stonefly and decided that was enough for me and left Doug to flog the waters.  Also got to witness a group of 3 work their way down Old Army Pass.  It is insane people still go up Old Army Pass.  I halfway tried talking Doug into trying it earlier in the day as it would cut out 3 miles of hiking.  He didn't take the bait. Also the day before I commented on how it was crazy how we hadn't seen a single rabbit.  That evening I look up and saw the biggest rabbit I have seen in the wild.  It was a white tailed Jack Rabbit that I think any hawk or eagle would think twice before tangling with. 


Descent down New Army Pass




Lake 4.  Old Army Pass follows contour line to left of snow pack.  :o






"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Dougfish


Up and over day, as J said. I got in the lead going down the other side to slow us down. 
Its a long ways down to those bottom switchbacks.  :Dance









Up to 4 and 5.







I briefly had a really nice fish on but the hookset wasn't good enough.
I chased a bus of a fish for 3 of his cruising laps. I pitched 6 different flies to him.  n!n

Back down to 3.














"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

The Dude

Pretty cool, once-in-a-lifetime trip.  I'm glad y'all made it happen and documented it with photos so you can look back 30 years from now and recall in great detail what an awesome experience it was.
Did you eat many fish?
I was born by the river in a little tent,<br />And just like the river I've been running ever since,<br />It's been a long, long time coming,<br />But I know change is gonna come.

Big J

Day 8.  Last day in Inyo National Forest.  Bittersweet.  Bitter because this will be the last time I will experience this rugged of an environment for a long time.  The sense of being 20 miles away from a trailhead that is still 1 hour from the nearest town.  Albeit, Cottonwood Lakes felt like a resort in terms of the amount of people crawling out of tents and firing up coffee.  It was sweet because I needed a shower, and more importantly, Doug "I didn't bring deodorant" needed a shower more.  We broke down camp, and finished the last 5 mile hike out all down hill.  We must of passed 100 day hikers going up to Cottonwood Lake area.  Saturday there is cray cray.  Like I said earlier, I highly recommend if you go, to spend as little time at Cottonwood Lakes as possible and go further in backcountry.  We saw less than 20 people in 5 days once we got past Langley. 


Ranger Station.  I can cook.  Hire me.


Crappy shaded picture


Pizza in Lone Pine.  Sure tasted a lot better than Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce.


And watched the rock crawlers drive by.  Desert scene was interesting.

Then it was a hotel stay outside of LA and catching a flight back to East Coast the next day.  Being back around people, especially LA people was interesting too.  There were a few people who really put the icing on the cake with the LA vibe.
 While I am a big supporter of women in general, I feel the need to vividly describe this girl so you have an idea of how much restraint I had.  There was a lot of low hanging fruit I could of picked.  LAX to Charlotte was a full flight.  Overhead storage was quickly filling up.  I had a small backpack as a carry on and found a spot over my own seat to store it.  This girl, who was wearing shorts 3x too small for her body, a shirt cropped way to high for her body, and showing off a garter tattoo on her thigh, with a carry on luggage that was way too large to carry on plane, decided my backpack in the overhead storage was the culprit to her not being able to find space for her luggage. Note, her seat is three rows up on opposite side of the plane.  She immediately starts cussing at my small backpack.  Then tells her man to "take care of this backpack".  This is when I piped up and she continues to go off on me about my backpack.  I bite my tongue and the guy tried his best to calm the unruly beast down.  I ended up just telling them to give me my backpack and stored it between my legs for a cramped flight home.  Doug almost got us in an altercation with a drunk Latino want a be gangster.  But I'll let him tell that story if he wants. 

This trip was 4 years in the making for me.  Took me a long time to pass that CPA exam.  Doug and I spent a year hammering out details.  The trip exceeded all the expectations.  Highly recommended it if you are able to. 


"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Big J

Quote from: The Dude on August 07, 2020, 07:03:57 AMPretty cool, once-in-a-lifetime trip.  I'm glad y'all made it happen and documented it with photos so you can look back 30 years from now and recall in great detail what an awesome experience it was.
Did you eat many fish?

Doug brought a pan and olive oil, but no fish were consumed.  I even mentioned to Doug we should keep a fish or two, but he wasn't interested.  Mostly because at the end of a day of hiking and fishing all day, last thing you want to do is work to prepare a meal.  And them be some pretty fish.

@benben reincarnated  should be impressed I took his net he made with me all weekend.   V:;
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

itieuglyflies

Wow, what a great trip and equally great reports. Only lacking photo was of the airplane girl.

Woolly Bugger


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I fixed yer photo...

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Big J

You are the man Woolly  :cheers  Thanks
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Hemingway

Mudwall Gatewood 3.0

Quote from: itieuglyflies on August 07, 2020, 09:23:25 AMOnly lacking photo was of the airplane girl.

Yes, I want to see a photo of this gal with the "garter tattoo".  We've all wondered for years about the physique of some of Grayson's relatives.  You were near, engaged with, one of his clan and you failed to properly document the encounter! 

I also want to see a pic of the six Filson girls – image for my next shower. 

Report just gets better!  You Virginia boys rule!
"Enjoy every sandwich."  Warren Zevon

troutrus

Wonderful reports. 👍🏻   What sticks in my mind besides the obvious, was the mention of no rain for the entire time. Sounds great to us that are stuck here in the land of daily deluge and high flows.


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