Short hike around Deam Wilderness Indiana

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
202
Deam Wilderness is one of my favorite places to get away locally. There's around 36 miles of trails that all intertwine. On the north side there's Monroe Lake. (Great place to Kayak.) There are primitive campsites scattered along the trail and a few up near the waters edge. It's only an hour and a half south of my home so I've hiked every trail in the place, but still love going just get some trail time in. Crazy thing is, I see very few people here on the trails.
This past week I got snowed out of doing another trail so I figured I'd get back to the roots so to speak and head out on these trails again.

I headed down on Thursday morning late and started hiking. The snow was fresh on the ground and all around were various animal tracks. I lost count of how many dear tracks I came across. I followed coyote tracks for awhile. Lost the trail for awhile. (Eventually came back across it.) On the second day I hiked over to a fire tower and climbed for the view. While at the top I took a break and had lunch. From there I cheated, I hiked back to my truck and drove to a different part of the wilderness and set off hiking again. When it came time to pitch my tarp on second night I decided to make it more "lean to" and open. (The first night was lower and I ended up with a fair amount of condensation.) This proved to be a mistake. It started snowing fairly early on and lasted for several hours. I had to wake up every few hours to push against the tarp so the snow would run off and not collapse the tarp. Also, the snow blew in the open side on my sleeping bag and face. (Would have been better with a bivy.) Really, all and all, not a bad night though. I even had some free time to build a snowman. I named him Bob.

From there I hiked back to truck and drove back to civilization.
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This was night one. The view really was spectacular.​
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Just chillin' Nice log bench at the first campsite.​
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Pausing for a break at the top of the fire tower.​
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My hands were so cold!​
I mounted camera to tripod and stuck it out the window for this shot.​
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View from tower.​
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Looking up the tower.​
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Me and Bob. (Notice how open the tarp pitch was.)​
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Road in Wilderness on my way out.​
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Another road shot.​
 

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
202
Not too hardcore. Here in the Midwest I don't use a tarp during "good" weather cause bugs will eat you alive. Winter is about the only chance I get to use just a tarp.
 

lostlandscapes

rope mule
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
328
Great TR, thanks for sharing! This report actually brings back great memories. I spent the first 22 years of my life in southern Michigan, and so made it down to the Dean Wilderness a couple of times (only in the summer, however). At home I was completely surrounded by deforested flatlands, so being able to experience the rolling topography and thick stands of hardwood of southern Indiana was a sublime treat. Actually enjoyed one of the wildest overnighters of my life in the Deam--encountering six (yes, six! ) seperate, intense thunderstorms in less than a 24 hour period. Hiked in to the southern shore of Lake Monroe with a flimsy $30 Target tent, and I thought I was a goner. Waking up in the morning to find most of the Tulip tree blossoms shaken from the trees and illuminating the ground was quite the beautiful spectacle. The other time I visited I got literally blanketed with ticks, and the 4 of us on that trip spent all weekend picking them off of each other. Freaky! Never a dull moment in the Deam!
 

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
202
Great TR, thanks for sharing! This report actually brings back great memories. I spent the first 22 years of my life in southern Michigan, and so made it down to the Dean Wilderness a couple of times (only in the summer, however). At home I was completely surrounded by deforested flatlands, so being able to experience the rolling topography and thick stands of hardwood of southern Indiana was a sublime treat. Actually enjoyed one of the wildest overnighters of my life in the Deam--encountering six (yes, six! ) seperate, intense thunderstorms in less than a 24 hour period. Hiked in to the southern shore of Lake Monroe with a flimsy $30 Target tent, and I thought I was a goner. Waking up in the morning to find most of the Tulip tree blossoms shaken from the trees and illuminating the ground was quite the beautiful spectacle. The other time I visited I got literally blanketed with ticks, and the 4 of us on that trip spent all weekend picking them off of each other. Freaky! Never a dull moment in the Deam!
One of the benefits of going in the winter is the risks of ticks is pretty much non existent. (Unless it's a warm winter.) 6 thunderstorms in one night? Wow! As I mentioned, for it's just a fun place to get away to. None the trails are really challenging, and you're never so far away from the road, but I love the rolling hills and for an "outdoor fix" it can be just what the doctor ordered.
What part of Michigan? I have a bit of land near South Haven MI. It's good for car camping. My wife will put up with the outdoors cause she gets a day at the beach. (Everybody wins.)
 

lostlandscapes

rope mule
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
328
One of the benefits of going in the winter is the risks of ticks is pretty much non existent. (Unless it's a warm winter.) 6 thunderstorms in one night? Wow! As I mentioned, for it's just a fun place to get away to. None the trails are really challenging, and you're never so far away from the road, but I love the rolling hills and for an "outdoor fix" it can be just what the doctor ordered.
What part of Michigan? I have a bit of land near South Haven MI. It's good for car camping. My wife will put up with the outdoors cause she gets a day at the beach. (Everybody wins.)

The thunderstorms started around 2 in the afternoon, with new ones rolling in every 3-4 hours or so. They didn't stop until about 5 in the morning.

Crazy. I'm from Paw Paw, so not so far from South Haven. My refuge was the sand dunes themselves, in particular those in Grand Mere State Park. Gorgeous coastline there!
 

Archbishop

Make ready. Go forward!
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
202
The thunderstorms started around 2 in the afternoon, with new ones rolling in every 3-4 hours or so. They didn't stop until about 5 in the morning.

Crazy. I'm from Paw Paw, so not so far from South Haven. My refuge was the sand dunes themselves, in particular those in Grand Mere State Park. Gorgeous coastline there!
I know right where Paw Paw is. Our bit of land is right outside Grand Junction near Saddle Lake. We've left an older pop up camper on the property and a few time a summer we run up for weekend. (We live in Indianapolis IN.) My wife is not really outdoors, but she loves the beach.
Well, anyway, right on. it's a small world sometimes. If you're ever in the area and want to do some backpacking let me know.....
 
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