High Uintas in the rain
Clay Zimmerman and I decided to go on a training hike even though we knew it was going to be rainy. Very rainy. But its high summer and why not test equipment out in the rain when its not ice cold rain?

The path started out the same as last time when we went to Allsop Lake, except this time we took the right side of the Y that leads to Priord Lake.

It started raining again as soon as we hit the trail and continued for 2 days with little relief.

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Here we are taking a break. Certain goats had been hanging back under trees and being real refuseniks, so we forced them forward a bit and only then let them rest when the humans said it was ok.

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We never really got to see the awesome mountains due to the low hanging clouds. At least there was no lightning. It was a Seattle style drizzle that phased in and out of real rain.

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My rain jacket is more of an emergency thing (FroggToggs) than an all day outfit. I got a few holes poked by goat horns but they served well otherwise.

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Oh, here's a peek at the mountain. I bet it looks awesome.

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There were tarps set up for the goats to shelter under, but they intimidated Sasha the dog so much that she ended up sleeping in the rain like an idiot. She was cold and miserable the first night.

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We never quite saw Priord Lake. We thought it was over a 50 yard high wall of rubble, but it was in fact just over a berm to our right. The trail had fizzled out and we didn't bring a map, so we'll have to visit again another time. Its a good thing though, since we didnt end up camping next to the lake like we had planned. At that altitude, the rain was worse, the clouds were low, and it was a lot colder. It would have been a horrible night. We ended up hiking way back down the trail, almost to the Y intersection, and camping in a spot we liked the looks of on the way up. It was a perfect campground.

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The rain stopped at dinner time and slowly the low clouds broke up. That meant the stars came out and it got rather cold. The goats had dried off, but Sasha was still very wet. She spent the night rolled up in a tarp, and I think she stayed warm enough. My sleeping bag was my summer unit, good to 40F, and my feet were cold, and my back where it contacted the hammock. Otherwise it was a great night's sleep, as the goats were tired and stayed bedded down.

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We had 7 river crossings on this hike, and for most goats it was the first crossing of their lives. Here is a video of the final crossing, and you can see how well they've learned!

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All the pictures are of Clay because I was the one behind the camera. It wasn't convenient to pass the camera around in the rain. I'd pop it out of my rain jacket, take a picture if I could (had some fogging issues at times) and pop it back in to keep it dry.

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My epic picture was ruined by Orion slipping off of the wet log and plopping in the water.

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The sun had finally made itself known on the third day.

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It was actually a rather long hike with about 1700 feet of elevation, but it was not steep at any point. Very mellow going except that there was a lot of rock hopping crossing tributaries and marshes and flooded trail sections. My calf muscles are feeling it today.

One thing I had going for me is that I haven't been able to afford nice hiking boots. My New Balance trail runners got wet in the first 10 minutes and stayed that way. But this gave me super-powers out in the rain. I could march through a river and not care. The shoes would pump out the soggy water in 10 steps rather than holding it in like a waterproof boot would do. For wet hikes, cheap shoes win the prize.

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I have to mention my Hennessy Hammock. I don't know if it would have survived a sideways driving rain even with the rain fly strapped down, but in this rain it kept me perfectly dry! My Wiggy's sleeping bag stayed dry, but it is just the outer-cover used for summer camping, so it wasn't quite up to the cold that last night. My Frogg Toggs rain gear did well, but its delicate and I'm going to be patching a few holes tonight.

I'm also going to figure out how to make a 4x7 tarp into a dog shelter for the future. Over and over again Sasha ends up needing something for herself, since the goats trample her when she tries to sleep near me or when I wrap her up in a blanket.

As far as a training trip goes, the goats got wet for the first time in their lives (they have shelters at home... never ever get wet) and they learned to cross rivers without hesitation. Some of Clay's goats carried packs for the first time in their lives and did it so well that they could maneuver through narrow gates by approaching at an angle. Very smart critters. A goat or two proved to be laggy, either from laziness or being out of shape, so they're going to get one more chance another time. I learned a lot about equipment, cooking and menu, and handling rain on a hike.

It was a total success and went as well as a completely soaked hike is ever going to go. Everyone thought we were crazy going out in the biggest storm in months, but I'd do it again next week.
Charlie Horse, sounds like everyone got some great experience on that hike. Way to go! I always look forward to reading and seeing the pics and videos of your adventures. Thanks for taking the time to share!
That is awesome! What a great experience. Thanks for sharing!
Call me a desert rat but all that rain looks downright miserable! I have the FroggToggs but have never worn them. It looks like the goats got a lot of great training experience. I feel so sorry for Sasha. I hope she is rested up and warm to the marrow.
Goatberries Happen!
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My epic picture was ruined by Orion slipping off of the wet log and plopping in the water.

You have such a great grasp of photos shop you could put Orion back on that log! Smile
Goatberries Happen!
Man that looks like a good time! The photos are fantastic!
Totally awesome CH. What a great looking adventure!
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale. http://trinitypackgoats.webs.com

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
That is a great looking adventure Charlie. It inspires me to take a good look at doing some rain hiking, maybe even camping. Thanks for sharing.

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