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I Am to the Sierras Bound!

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Jul 28, 2020 - 3:38:06 PM
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3548 posts since 12/8/2007
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Wife and I have backpacked all over Strathcona Park on my beloved Vancouver Island; we've hiked the Rocky Mountains in Alberta (and didn't become dinner for a griz either); I've endured black flies and skeeters thick as a cloud north of Snoqualmie (sp?) Pass in Washington, but the most beautiful vistas and waterfalls and granite and flower filled vales e'er seen are right here just up the road from me! Truly, the Sierras are something special. I urge all who can to come check 'em out and experience them.

But nowadays we're supposed to say "Sierra Nevada" and not "Sierras."

So, anyhoo, our family is gonna pile into the Explorer and drive into the Sierras and encamp for a few days. We've all been Covid-conscious together, and I'm three weeks away from my last chemo treatment (six months worth of absolute UGH!), and we've had sessions around the ol' fire pit out back and discussed the food we'll bring, clothing, boots or trail shoes, tents, and so on.

Nowadays one can watch youtube videos on most routes, made by folks who've hiked the trails before, and get an idea of what they're getting into. Our destination, a sparkling lake six or seven kilometers in, six or seven hundred feet elevation difference--well, the last person who posted a clip about it--he left the Sacramento area when it was 100 (37) degrees and upon getting to the lake it was snowing! Yeehaw, but this has the potential to be a jolly, grand time.

Ain' no griz down here anymore, too.

Still, we'll be putting all foodstuffs into my bear canister, for there are black bears. This canister device allows the bear to carry off your food in a compact "carrying case" before he smashes it to bits and then eats all your grubstake. Quite convenient, I'm told.

And wife and I are the only ones on this planet who still use external frame packs. Proud, makes me. I look down on all who have to use internal framed packs. I'm generally taller than most, so it's easy for me to do.

Anyone else gonna hit the bush or backwoods this summer?

Curt

Jul 28, 2020 - 3:53:09 PM

3047 posts since 6/21/2007

Where you heading? A real test, if you're up to it, is Mt. Whitney out of Lone Pine, CA. Loads of good day hikes around the Tahoe-Truckee area. Be aware, though, that with the lack of moisture problems this (and the past few) years that MUCH of the Sierra Nevada range is posted as "no fires," so you may need to make adjustments.

Edited by - BanjoBrad on 07/28/2020 15:55:18

Jul 28, 2020 - 4:03:31 PM
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1797 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Humbled by this instrument

Curt


Curt, I'm a bit jealous of your trip. I grew up in Washington State and used to backpack quite a bit in the Cascades and Olympics including a couple of trips horseback on the Crest Trail. Your description of being the only ones who still uses an external frame pack made me realize how long it's been since I've been on a hike. I've done a few hikes in California since I've lived here, but not for over 25 years. Anyway, my understanding is you can say you're hiking the "Sierra" (singular). (You're supposed to drink "Sierra Nevada", however). I'm distancing here in beautiful rural Mendocino County, but have no traveling plans. Have a great time and congratulations on just about reaching your last treatment.

Jul 28, 2020 - 4:05:30 PM
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337 posts since 11/12/2016

Sounds like a great time. When you get back be sure and let us know...
Were it worth the trouble, Jeremiah?

Jul 28, 2020 - 7:20:48 PM
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3548 posts since 12/8/2007
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BanjoBrad: In another life I was a marathon runner (ran the Bidwell Classic and took 2nd place in my age group). A group of us started at Whitney Portal, 9,000', and hiked up and up and up and across snow fields, and I was doing fine until altitude sickness hit me with a horrible, terrible migraine (are there any "good" migraines?). So I stopped at Muir Pass, 13,777' and slid back down to lower elevations on my poncho, jamming my ice axe into the snowfield to slow me down, stopping miraculously ten meters from the rocky scree. Anyhoo, a hike up Whitney at this point is...well...nowadays you have to have permits and reservations, so THAT is what keeps me from doing it, yup! Not that 5,000' climb and scramble across the snow and rock!

We'll be hunkering down just outside of Desolation Wilderness but still in the El Dorado National Forest. I used to work with the USFS out of Lake Tahoe, so I know this area rather well.

Brian: Love Mendocino! Wowza how'd you end up there? God's country. We sneak on up to Little River and Van Damme, Albion, Hendy Woods, BOONVILLE, and you're in some of the prettiest country around, truly.

But I actually didn't phrase one thing clearly--I'm done with chemo and have been recovering for three weeks, seemingly getting stronger and more energetic--so I think our hike is doable.

Jul 28, 2020 - 7:43:56 PM
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11258 posts since 9/23/2009

Hope you have a great time, Humbled!

Jul 29, 2020 - 4:02:06 AM
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4847 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Humbled by this instrument


But I actually didn't phrase one thing clearly--I'm done with chemo and have been recovering for three weeks, seemingly getting stronger and more energetic--so I think our hike is doable.


THIS is great to read. Play a chune for us while you're up there. 

Jul 29, 2020 - 5:23:08 AM
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8715 posts since 3/19/2009

Sierra Nevada...got some in the frig, I do....
Enjoy your hike.. Someday I'd love to hike for a few days on Pacific Crest Trail..

Jul 29, 2020 - 9:36:44 AM
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Fiddler

USA

4105 posts since 6/22/2007

Have fun! Sounds like a great trip.

FWIW - I have several forester (USFS) friends and incredible musicians. Their tales of lengthy backwoods excursions are inspiring!

Jul 29, 2020 - 9:52:41 AM
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3047 posts since 6/21/2007

Curt - You made it as far as I did. My brother and I decided to climb Mt. Whitney back in the 90's when I was about 55 or so. He didn't have much time so we were going to make a day-hike out of it, starting at about 3AM from Portal after getting the last back-country permit available for the day we were going. Anyway, my knees gave out just as we started the stairs to Muir, where I decided I might do permanent damage if I tried to continue. So, we descended and passed our permit to somebody we met on the trail who wanted to go back-country.

I was with the Truckee Fire Department at the time, part-time/paid-call, so I was in fair shape. Lived in Truckee for 19 years before retiring and moving to Tucson. Born and raised in the oil-fields of the San Joaquin Valley, always a pretty out-of-doors kind of guy.

Desolation should be great, enjoy your trip. I was able to day-hike Mt. Tallis one summer a year or so after my aborted attempt at Whitney.

Jul 29, 2020 - 4:02:11 PM
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1658 posts since 12/11/2008

The Sierra Nevada were my playground, way back when. The Mammoth Mt. XC Skiing trips with my buds in the '70's and '80's. Down-hilling with my sister & cousins. Trips to Tahoe with my parents. The obligatory stop in Bishop along the way.

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