Updated: Jan 1
A smaller lake hidden up a rough backroad in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Lake Name: Comcomly Lake
Lake Coordinates: 46.0220, -121.7200
Lake Elevation: 4265'
Access: Drive up
Note: Road is rough and requires 4x4
The road up to Comcomly was a fun and bumpy adventure. It's about a mile drive up FS 6035-051. There are lots of large humps to navigate over and a few that required 4-Low in our truck. In the realms of rough backroads, this one wasn't terrible, but wouldn't be possible in a low clearance vehicle and more than likely not easily passable when wet since the road was mostly dirt.
As we neared the lake I was dealing with some sensory overload and didn't feel up for getting out of the car. There was a group of people dispersed camping by the lake. My parents got out and walked to the edge and chatted up the guys camping there. The lake was on the smaller side, but by no means a tiny pond. One of the guys mentioned it gets really windy at night by the lake.
I was able to see a glimpse of the lake from the road. I used to be such a purist about "what counts" for bagging a lake or completing a trail, etc. But with debilitating sensory issues and chronic illnesses, I've had to learn to be more flexible with "what counts." I have come to realize that purist ways of "what counts," particularly in outdoor activities and sports, can be rather ableist and gatekeep people from experiencing the outdoors in a meaningful way. Purist "what counts" can come across as elitist, when let's be honest, the reason most of us are in the outdoors is because we want to experience nature and challenge ourselves.
Well for me, on that day at Comcomly Lake, just leaving the house was a big push, and me just getting to the point I could see the lake was me doing my best to bag it. So it counts, even if I didn't get out of the car, touch the water, circle the lake, etc. And "what counts" can vary by each moment. It's not motivated by laziness or cheating, just equity. My version of trying my best in that moment was seeing it from the car and taking care of myself so I didn't trigger a full sensory overload and dissociative episode. Navigating these sorts of issues can be overwhelming, but I think all of us can find ways to balance experiencing the outdoors and maintaining our mental/physical health.
I couldn't find any information about this lake online. The lake and road to access it are both on the forest service map.
How to get there (from Trout Lake, WA)
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