Sure, Gold Creek Pond is terribly short, but it's awfully pretty. Besides, this wasn't supposed to be some epic adventure into the heart of the wilderness where our very survival would be in doubt. Nope. This was a quick wander for an attempt to cook over fire in the snow and give some late improvements to the pulk a chance in the snow.
Just before Christmas I cancelled a trip for the Plateau Peeps when we extended our trip to Chelan so I tried to reschedule it. I used my most beguiling language when explaining that it would be awesome. I even tried my most insulting language when supposedly manly men couldn't commit. In the end, it was just me and Daryl.
No surprise, but the Gold Creek Sno-Park was deserted when we arrived well after dark. I had a very full backpack, including the monster four-season tent, but it was all loaded on the pulk. The goal was to give the Incredible Pulk yet another shakedown after yet more tweaks and reconfigurations. The big change this time was modifying the flexible poles to be rigid(ish). This worked for Jeremy to keep the pulk from trying to pass him when heading downhill.
Of course, Gold Creek isn't really known for its hills. In fact, I think there's only about 100 feet of gain in and out. No matter! We'll find hills. Really, really steep hills. So steep they were almost impassable. I think they were actually the berm of a decommissioned road. However, the pulk did great not passing on either side even if the weight did push me down the slope a bit faster than I was ready for.
Although the pulk did great coming down the slope it was tracking off to the left for some unknown reason. This was a new phenomenon, but not totally surprising. During the first trial the pulk had disappointed on a downhill ride by veering off to the right. Although I could correct by pulling on one side it was definitely annoying and a new round of modifications is in order.
At the lake we found the most recent storm had dumped a ton of fresh powder so it was lots of fun trying to find a BBQ stand to work with. Last season the BBQ stand was still above the snow when we arrived to cook. This time it was a mere depression next to the hump that was the table.
Daryl dug out the BBQ while I found the Java-Log buried in my pack. Last time we tried a "one match" bag of charcoal and were let down by old Kingsford. This time I opted for a "log" made of coffee that was supposed to be a better solution. And it was. Although the paper wrapper burned off almost instantly and I was sure we were doomed the flames never went out and the Java-Log performed well. Hot dogs, leftover pizza, and shrimp filled out the menu and then we had enough fire to keep us (slightly) warm. Next year... two Java-Logs.
With clouds being pretty well scattered and the moon not really heating us up much it was cold in spite of the cheery fire. After some pics we headed back to the truck and home. The Incredible Pulk has a date with the Incredible Pulk Surgeon and even though I had no work the next day I was still hoping to get a decent night's sleep. I decided to carry the pack (and all that crazy weight) so I'd be prepared in case the pulk didn't work out on the big snow camp in a week's time. By the time we got back to the car I was ready to go out and buy a fancy pulk just to be sure I wouldn't have to carry it all.
Total distance was about 1.5 miles and about 100 feet of gain.