Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Backpacking: Day One

Getting started: a fabulous start - our friends found us late the night before and we got organized quickly. No more of the sluggish planning mistakes I made last year! We packed pre-tasted food, it fit into the bear canister, we had rain clothes and backup dry clothes packed for the predicted thundershowers, and I was even careful to pack everything into plastic bags in case of backpack leaks. In fact, I even bought a new sleeping bag at the last minute, an unusual expense for me, but since I had one with a broken zipper, it seemed wise. (Boy was I right!) We took off with the kids in the lead, literally running down the trail as they laughed and talked together.


We immediately got a taste of California history: the remains of an old mining cabin (left) and information about the Miwok who have a history - and present tradition - in the area.  Awesome!



And they are off!

Tree frog.  According to californiaherps.com, this looks like a Baja California treefrog, but it isn't in the noted range for the species, so my identification might be off.

Waiting for the slow parents to catch up

Again!

And again!  About this point, I began plotting how to slip more weight into their packs.  I still had all of the shared gear - tent, all the food, stove and fuel, etc.  Clearly they could handle a bit more!

Good sports when it started to rain - we were prepared.

Cuties who insisted on this spot for lunch.  Well, those in the lead often do get to decide!

Stunning, even with - or because of - the rain.

Strong, happy, and wet.

Gorgeous - I love mountain streams and this seemed to be a late spring, with tons of wild flowers.

Love love love these glimpses of heaven on earth. 

As we approached the lake where we would camp, it began to snow - light flurries, quite thrilling.  The girls were excited - they have rarely seen snow fall.

We snuggled in the tent and I snapped photos of tiny bits of snow that had accumulated on K's sandal.  It seemed so charming! (Does this look like an ad for my Sierra Designs tent?  Awesome tent - if only the inner zipper worked!  But it kept us dry, so I'm glad to advertise.  :-)

Ah, snow covered mountains in the distance.  That is just part of the scenery - not relevant to our condition.  Right?

Happily cuddled in the tent for the night after a dramatic thunderstorm.  I love that they are so cuddly and happy, even after what many would consider to be a pretty tough day.  At one point, the thunder was super loud and the lightening almost simultaneous - that was dramatic and scary.  But then  our friends brought us soup in our tent (wow!  maybe the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me!) and we cleaned up, made sure the bear canister was far away, dried off, read our book, and slept.  Our plan for the morning was to hike about 1200' up to a peak and then continue south.  Because these afternoon thundershowers always clear up.  Right?  Oh boy....


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