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Old 07-16-2017, 09:48 PM   #1
malexander
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Duck Hole and a little Cold River 7/15-7/16/2017

I haven't been able to spend a night in the back country for a little while, but not for lack of trying. My grand plan of 4 days circumnavigating the Seward's got washed out 4th of July weekend. For the first time in 4 or 5 years I spent the holiday weekend on the grid Fast forward to this weekend and I managed to sneak in a couple days exploring some of the locations I've been wanting to check out for a while. Having a big hike on the calendar for late August, I set my weekend on putting some respectable mileage on my legs and exploring Duck Hole and some of the Cold River Valley.

I hit the trail a little before 8am at Upper Works on Saturday just as a light rain was starting. The tough muddy trails made me feel at home and the wet brush gave me that refreshing car wash feeling as the trail narrowed. I stopped at Henderson Lake Lean-to to let the rain shower pass. I chuckled at last 2 trails signs I saw and watching a paddler circle the Lake. (The newer first sign came before the older second sign and were a half mile apart and pointing in the same direction)




I slowly and carefully worked my way to Duck Hole trying not to let the mud claim any more than my boots as a victim. Shortly before Duck Hole I nearly went for a slide but managed to keep my balance and break my hiking pole in the process As wet as I was already I would have preferred the slide. I stopped at the first Lean-to for lunch and to dry my wet feet for a bit. Although it appeared threatening several times, I saw no more rain after this.




Arriving at the Duck Hole trail register, I ran into the first person of the day. I spent some time chatting about the area with Mike Douglas and he informed me on the work that he has done lately for Lean-to rescue and the Lean-tos he has adopted for the last 30 years! When I told him I was headed for the Ouluska lean-to, he informed me that I was lucky since it had just been rebuilt a couple months ago I made sure to thank him for all that he does before moving on. All of the Lean-tos in the area were in fine condition.

I continued on to Roundeau Hermitage passing a couple groups on my way. I spent a little time exploring the area and finding some stellar views but my wet feet ached (quite literally) for the Ouluska Lean-to. I ran into a thru hiker in view of the lean-to and chatted for a bit before he moved on. The next morning I ran into him again at one of the Cold Brook Lean-tos and wished him well on his NPT finish (he was a little disappointed to be leaving the woods).




It was only 4pm when I arrived so I set to work drying my clothes, procuring firewood, taking a few casts into the river and perusing the fine compilation of log books. The lean-to site was rather thick with mosquitoes so I took my meal to the nearby water crossing where lumber was awaiting construction of a new bridge. I read in the log book that a few fine men saved one of the stacks of lumber from floating away during the deluge 4th of July weekend (thanks guys!). The evening passed at a relaxed pace and I dozed off to the soothing sounds of the river.

I awoke refreshed and enjoyed an uneventful return trip under friendly skies.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:44 AM   #2
Tick Magnet
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Great TR!

Awesome picts!

Thanks
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:28 AM   #3
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Great TR!

Awesome picts!

Thanks
I'll second that!
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:39 AM   #4
stripperguy
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Definitely a great TR!!
Makes me feel like I was there...thanks
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:49 AM   #5
Cold River Bob
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Great trip report Boy does it look different, The last time I was in Duckhole Bluequill an I canoed in just before the dam went out. I don't think the stream is deep enough to canoe back there now.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:22 PM   #6
malexander
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Great trip report Boy does it look different, The last time I was in Duckhole Bluequill an I canoed in just before the dam went out. I don't think the stream is deep enough to canoe back there now.
This wasn't your boat I found a few miles down river was it?
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:46 PM   #7
DuctTape
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I remember seeing that canoe when it was still up in a tree.
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