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  1. #1
    Member Booya's Avatar
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    Jay Cooke MN 4/9-4/11

    Well, my baby is due in a month. So, I knew this past weekend would be my last chance to get out there for a while. A couple friends of mine wanted to get out there too. We decided on Jay Cooke, and it was amazing.

    We arrived to the park at about 4, and got to our site by about 5:30. It was a great site. There were 2 fire pits, 4 picnic tables, and a bear box. It was the most luxurious backpacking site I've been to. I got my hammock setup, relaxed for a few minutes in it, got some water by the river, started a fire and started cooking my dinner all before my buddies had their tent setup (I didn't say anything for the record, just smiled to myself ). Unfortunately, it got really cloudy that night so there weren't any stars.

    I got a little chilly on the face because I setup just over the edge of the hill going down to the river. So, all of that cold air was coming up the hill, and hitting me. My winter yeti UQ kept me plenty warm. I was going to bring my crowsnest that I just got before the trip. But, I didn't have enough time to play around with it to make sure I wouldn't get cold. I later found out on Monday that the crowsnest is very warm. I just needed to tighten the shock cord suspension. Anyways, I had my breakfast from the hammock, and was ready to do some hiking by 8. The ground dwellers were up before I was but did not want to hike because they were already sore from yesterday! Their pack weight was probably more than twice as mine, and I'm not even an ultralight hiker, yet. So, I assumed that had something to do with it, and I went off hiking with my dog. Saw some deer and eagles along the way. Made it back for dinner, and was able to watch the stars. This night I closed the doors of my DIY tarp on the side of the river to block that cold wind. It helped a ton! This night actually went below freezing so I used my IX TQ/UQ booster (pics posted soon). This definitely boosted the temp. But, my dog slipped his nose under my quilt sometime during the night. I woke up, and my golite ultra 20 felt dry. But, the inside of my IX booster was soaking wet. It wasn't a big deal since it didn't make me cold, and that was the last night. Got up and took the long way back to the parking lot. I couldn't have asked for a nicer 3 days for hiking, and it was a great mental recharge for me before the baby comes.
    Everybody wang chung tonight!

  2. #2
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Good report and great pics. Beautiful place. Thanks for sharing
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member pizza's Avatar
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    Nice, which campsite were you at...High Landing?

  4. #4
    Member Booya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pizza View Post
    Nice, which campsite were you at...High Landing?
    Yup. I wanted to go to Ash Ridge the second night but the other two didn't. Have you been to the lost lake or silver creek sites? Are they just as big? I didn't get a chance to check them out.
    Everybody wang chung tonight!

  5. #5
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    Looks nice, I should get up there from Plymouth.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bigbamaguy's Avatar
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    I am very impressed not only by the beauty of the area you were hiking in but the fact that you were hiking in and 8 months pregnant......never would have gotten my ex-wife to do that when she was that far along. Once again, beautiful site and thank you for the report.

    This means I now have no excuse for not getting out more.............
    Par Si Vis Pace Para Bellum

  7. #7
    Senior Member pizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booya View Post
    Yup. I wanted to go to Ash Ridge the second night but the other two didn't. Have you been to the lost lake or silver creek sites? Are they just as big? I didn't get a chance to check them out.
    High Landing is the best campsite in my opinion. I usually always go to that one. Ash Ridge is ok but not as nice as High Landing. It has easy access to the river but it's not the best site for hanging a hammock as far as trees go unless you bushwack back into the brushy area to find suitable trees to hang from which is what we did a few weeks ago. It also tends to be real muddy in wet weather. Lost Lake would be a great tent site...(did I just say that) level grassy ground but there aren't any decent trees in the campsite area for hanging a hammock. There are some pine trees on the spur trail leading into the camp that might work ok though. Lost Lake is also in a swampy area. Silver Creek is the only backpack site I haven't seen yet. I may have to check that one out next time I go out there. I'll probably go back to Jay Cooke in the fall. It's too busy out there in the summer time since it's such a popular park.

  8. #8
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Nice dang tarp you made there Booya!!!!!
    Give me a shout sometime .... if ya' want some company on the trail.
    I need to see Jay Cook ... pizza was speaking highly of it this weekend.
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  9. #9
    Member Booya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbamaguy View Post
    I am very impressed not only by the beauty of the area you were hiking in but the fact that you were hiking in and 8 months pregnant......
    Lol. Don't worry, my wife stayed home. I just knew that this is the last weekend she would allow me to get out and camp. For a month or two anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by pizza View Post
    High Landing is the best campsite in my opinion. I usually always go to that one. Ash Ridge is ok but not as nice as High Landing. It has easy access to the river but it's not the best site for hanging a hammock as far as trees go unless you bushwack back into the brushy area to find suitable trees to hang from which is what we did a few weeks ago. It also tends to be real muddy in wet weather. Lost Lake would be a great tent site...(did I just say that) level grassy ground but there aren't any decent trees in the campsite area for hanging a hammock. There are some pine trees on the spur trail leading into the camp that might work ok though. Lost Lake is also in a swampy area. Silver Creek is the only backpack site I haven't seen yet. I may have to check that one out next time I go out there. I'll probably go back to Jay Cooke in the fall. It's too busy out there in the summer time since it's such a popular park.
    Thanks for the info Pizza. We were definitely amazed at how cool high landing was. I also see what you mean with how busy it can get. On Sunday, the swinging bridge and parking lot was loaded with people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Nice dang tarp you made there Booya!!!!!
    Give me a shout sometime .... if ya' want some company on the trail.
    I need to see Jay Cook ... pizza was speaking highly of it this weekend.
    Shug
    Thanks! Next time I wanna get some good hiking in, I will give a shout to the Shug. I wish I could make it to the northern hang. But, I'll be spending that weekend with my newborn I'm sure. I just saw those picks of you guys on the SHT. I'm now drooling over the ULA Ohm my base weight is almost there.
    Everybody wang chung tonight!

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