MLK weekend usually has me solo due to the extreme cold and most do not have a 3-day weekend. This year, I was only going overnight as an approaching storm could possibly strand me past the 3rd day. This made it easier to head out with friends who also were going Sat-Sun. Justin, Rob and I decided to go to Cascade Lake, which was the original plan for post Christmas. Dan also joined us at the last minute. Chris was a newcomer to the group. Leaving home at 5am, and getting Chris at 5:30, then Dan and lastly Rob. The car was loaded with people and gear. Justin was at the trailhead when we arrived. He was only minutes ahead of us. We loaded up our packs and pulks and headed down the trail. Surprised there were no ski tracks as this is a popular x-country ski loop. There were old snowshoe tracks however.
Gentle terrain through the woods for about a quarter mile to the old roadway. Cascade Lake used to have a girls camp on the far north side. This old roadway was the remnants from the camp. Another quarter mile and we reached the junction for the loop around the lake. We opted for counterclockwise due to potential swampyness around the other way. Our destination was just off trail near the inlet where a waterfall cascaded over the ridge. This was the inlet to the lake and where the lake derived its name. The trail was easy and conversation made the miles go quickly. The last half mile, one of the poles on my pulk broke. Apparently the pin I had glued in to hold it somehow worked itself out. A quick field repair to use the pulk with a single pole was made.
At camp chris declared he would be happy to just hang out here. Funny since he was the one who had originally wanted to do much more exploring and miles in the 5 ponds wilderness. With the food and beverage, we didn't venture far from camp. 5 people makes gathering wood easy. Especially in an area off trail where few camp. Soon we had a nice fire and we began our feasting. Starting with hot dogs, then jambalaya, marinated chicken breast and venison steaks. Lots of laughs to go with.
Eventually night came and headed into our tents and hammocks. The overnight low was in the teens, but I was very warm. We received some additional snow, but not much. In the AM, the fire was restarted and we feasted some more. Since we didn't have far to go we dawdled in the AM before packing up and heading out. On the eay out we passed by 3 groups of snowshoers day hiking the loop.
Some videos from the trip: