The first night we camped at the beginning of the trail. We left San Francisco right after work on Friday and got there at 10pm. The last few miles were on a really gnarly dirt road covered in huge rocks. My car is not suitable for offroading, so we took it very slow - and my heart skipped a beat for every scratching sound coming from the underbelly of the car. At 10pm we hiked a bit in the dark looking for a spot to set our tents. Made some dinner and a fire and went to bed exhausted from the drive. I love camping so much, but I hate setting up tents in the dark.
The next day in the morning we were ready to hike and waited in the parking lot for the others to arrive. Some people got lost on the way (the fire roads weren't very well marked), so we had a bit of a late start.
And so it begins...
First lake we passed by was also the place where we took most photos. Everyone was really excited and trigger-happy. We really had to get the photo-taking out of our systems.
With my friends Jake, Lynda and Courtney.
With others in the crew and Guthrie the golden retriever - one of the best dogs in the world, hands down.
Courtney making it to the top of the biggest climb of the hike. As you can see, it's a pretty mild incline.
It's hard to tell, but there's actually a huge deep valley right behind me.
Posing with Guthrie the dog, aka Gucci Mane.
Courtney killed it on her first backpacking trip.
Another rest stop and time to take some more photos.
Hope Graham doesn't think I'm a copycat again. If he ever gets to read this, hah!
And off we go again.
We're almost at the end of the hike!
That lake in the background is where we'll be camping and swimming. Yay! Oh, what I didn't mention is that I almost didn't make it on this hike. 2 weekends before the hike I crashed a dirt bike and injured my knee really badly. For up until 2 days before the hike I wasn't even able to walk properly without excruciating pain. But I bought hiking poles (which helped A LOT, by the way!!) and loaded myself with Ibuprofen even before the hike started. It all went really well and I'm glad I didn't bail out.
Lynda contemplating on the beauty of our destination.
Restocking our water supply from a little creek.
We found a slab of snow that hadn't melted yet and cooled off on it. Here you can see Courtney lying on the snow. It was really hot outside and right after this we went for a swim in the lake. Quite a nice mix of elements. Later at night we used the snow to cool off our drinks.
The lake in all its mighty glory. It was all ours. The beauty of backpacking is that you have to work for your reward. And your reward is always something that you know you earned, something that others can't get unless they put in the same amount of effort. For that I love the isolation, privilege and exclusive access that backpacking provides. You get the best of nature, in its most unspoiled form. It's like having the penthouse apartment of nature.
Some of the crew went for a swim to that little rocky island.
Classy campers: wine and home-made baguette which we dipped in that jar full of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs.
The crew playing poker with little rocks instead of money.
It's dinner time! So many tiny kitchens and cooks!