Right Hand Fork, Little Cottonwood Creek

When March rolls around every year, I start suffering from cabin fever. And this year was no different. Actually it was a little different. It was different because I had it worse probably than ever before. The deep freeze of January really brought the hermit out in me, and I spent a lot of time inside. I didn't get out fishing once in November clear through until two weeks ago. I did get out snowshoeing once, but it was a short trip and did absolutely nothing fill my "need-to-get-outside" canteen.

During the past two weeks I've spent a lot of time pouring over topo maps and satellite imagery on Google Earth, planning and plotting and scheming all the different trails to hike and places to pitch a tent. I've spent a lot of time doing maintenance on any gear that's needed it. I've spent a lot of money (throughout the winter) getting new pieces of gear.

I've got a plan in mind starting in May for sure—it may have been put into action last night—to spend every Friday night outside. I know there might be one or two that I'm going to have to stay indoors. But the vast majority will be spent under the stars (and no, sleeping in the back of the 4Runner doesn't count).

So, this week I made the determination to sleep in my tent. No matter what. Rain or shine, snow or sleet. I ended up taking my default option and went up Right Hand Fork. Mostly because with all the searching of maps I've done, I knew there are several trails that either start there, or branch off of the main trail in that canyon, and I had planned to explore at least one of them today.

One of my favorite things to do is photograph my campsite wherever I've camped or backpacked in to. Sometimes I include myself in them, sometimes I don't. Last night, I did.

This morning I got up, made breakfast, and headed up the trail that follows Little Cottonwood Creek. It's a gorgeous little trail that eventually turns into an old road (I don't know the history of it, but it looks as though it hasn't been used for several years).

This little stand of aspens caught my eye, and I had to stop and make a few photographs.

One thing about hiking and backpacking I like so much, is it gives me time to think. Without any distractions, I can just let my mind either drift from random thought to random thought, or I concentrate on only one thing. Today I think I stumbled on a new photographic project. The first one I've really been excited about since my BFA project (I know, I know, it's been eight years. Don't judge me). I still haven't noodled all of the nitty gritty details out yet, but I at least have a Departure point.