There was a lot of adventure in our household the week of 9/9/09. We moved our stuff out of the crawlspace so that our new contractors would have some room to work on finishing out the downstairs unit in our house Saturday and Sunday. Tom climbed the Nose in a Day with Hans on Monday, and then we drove across to the East Side and hiked Mt. Whitney in a day on Wednesday, returning tired but happy to our little place in the Valley Thursday night.
I promised myself that this is the very week that I would (finally) put something on this blog about the vacation that Tom and I took the week of Aug. 10th for our 11th wedding anniversary. We’d tossed around some other ideas, and we may have even gone to Hawaii if we’d planned ahead a little further (for people that know us, the beach vacation is a radical departure from our typical vacation mindset). It turned out that a shorter vacation to the East Side of the Sierra was absolutely perfect. Our trip had three parts. We had time to finish up some projects ahead of time so that they weren’t hanging over hour heads for the vacation, and then hiked to the top of Mt. Tyndall, wandered slowly through the Bristlecone Pine Forrest, and climbed in Clark Canyon.
What do you see if you walk the 6-ish miles into Glen Aulin, and then instead of taking the popular trail down toward Water Wheel and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, you turn right along the PCT and walk in that direction for a while? The Yosemite scenery is beautiful, but it’s the lure of exploration and new places that draws me in. Tom was also excited about the peaks at the far end.
About 13 miles along the PCT, passing Glen Aulin along the way, we turned right and headed up to McCabe Lakes and hiked to the top of Sheep Peak, a mostly indescript, not quite 12K ft peak (11842 ft.), that nevertheless was a grand adventure, with a spectacular view. We took many pictures with Mt Conness in the background, and tried some panoramas with our small point and shoot. It’s hard to capture sweeping 360 views in a single frame.
We took a somewhat abbreviated backpacking trip out past Ostrander Lake June 25-27 to try out some of our new gear. The short version? We love it, and we had a great time. I also learned and re-learned a lot of stuff about backpacking. For a first trip, it was just right.
We left Thursday night around 9pm after getting off work and cooking up a yummy dinner the comfort of our own home, and hiked out to Horizon Ridge before setting up camp. In some ways I like hiking in the dark – it’s usually very quiet and peaceful. Plus, this was an out and back trip, so we got to see the scenery, and the flowers that we walked past in the dark on our way out.
In the morning we finished our somewhat circuitous route to Ostrander Lake, and circled around to walk along Horse Ridge. It was a lazy day, filled with many stops and a bit of napping. We had plenty of water so we camped high with a bit of a breeze and fewer mosquitoes, filling up when we hiked down in the morning.
For more random notes about our trip, in no particular order
Sometimes, it’s the little things. I got out of work late today. It was a long day, and I’m still recovering from this stupid cold so it felt longer than it was. My bike was parked at Curry Village, which meant that instead of a <5 minute bike ride, I was resigned to a whole … Read more
I’ve been thinking about backpacking lately. A lot. And I’ve been spending inordinate amounts of money on it too – or preparing to spend inordinate amounts of money anyway.
As it turns out, it has been a embarrassingly long time since I’ve gone backpacking, and I’ve just realized how much I miss it. It isn’t that we haven’t been getting out at all. Last summer we were pretty excited about getting into some longer runs, and we started getting a little more serious about collecting pictures, but as activities that take only part of a day, we were getting pretty comfortable returning home to the miracle of modern appliances, hot showers and a comfortable bed. No longer.