Sunday, July 06, 2008

Spring Meadow - Emigrant Wilderness - June 28th & 29th
Ah yes the start of a new backpacking season and most importantly the deployment and utilization of new gear! This year there is a lot of new gear as I have started to put together a lightweight gear set...now mind you when I say lightweight that it is relative to my existing gear which doesn't come close to being lightweight. After all I am the gal that will sacrifice an extra pair of socks so I can carry a bottle of wine and a hunk of gruyere. My victim...I mean hiking partner in this initial summer outing was my friend Steve. I am pretty sure that Steve is a little traumatized by our August 2007 week-long Sierra outing where it rained nearly every day but this time couldn't be worse could it????
The destination for this trip was Lower Wire Lake in Emigrant Wilderness. From the Gianelli trailhead in Emigrant it's about a 12 mile hike to Lower Wire Lake. There is a school of thought that says you should take it a little easy on your first trip but not Steve and I....we needed to work off our dinner from Friday which consisted of nachos, guac, multiple margaritas, a bottle of wine and smores....we called it carbo loading.

The trail was great and we ran into very few folks the backpackers we did see were all headed off of the trail. There was also a trail crew out doing some maintenance work (thank you). One of the crew leads - Jim McCabe appeared to be an Emigrant veteran and helped us to identify some animal tracks which were apparently Mountain Lion tracks...whom apparently are becoming more territorial and likely are very hungry after the winter and welcome early season hikers like us :).

After going up and down many ridges and through several meadows we reached our destination at least we thought we had....needless to say we ended up at Spring Meadow vs. Wire Lakes. Let's just say that our map reading skills needed a little dusting off and we were pooped hikers by the time we got to Spring Meadow. Nevertheless after a little boulder hopping and some back and forth we settled on a picturesque lake that we had all to ourselves..woohoo! The key element of our campsite was not the view but the breeze that went through our location. While it's great to get out on the trail early in the season you are not really alone...oh no....in fact there are millions of your little friends who join along for the hike...yes you may have already guessed...mosquitos...and boy were they hungry. Lucky for us we were prepared with my favorite batches of Deet...can't beat the stuff and it has that lovely aroma...what's not to like?

The next morning when we woke up we were ready to go....go and make PANCAKES and Peet's coffee that is! Oh yeah nothing beats pancakes with fruit and Mrs. Butterworths when you are backpacking. The delumping of the batter and adding of blueberries commenced and soon the moment we had been waiting for happened....the pouring of batter into our all to ready to go pot and soon we had perfect round fluffy pancakes thanks to Steve. After stuffing our faces with several little hot cakes it was time to pack and get back to civilization and of course to get to those cold little beers sitting in my cooler in my car.

The hike back out to the car was great. We saw very few people on the way out and lots of wildflowers and yes not surprisingly mosquitos. After miscalculating that we had 4 ridges to climb to get back to the car and figuring out there were really 5 we made the final push and soon enough were back at the subaru and the beer! It was a great hike, my calves were in rehab for a couple of days after and all my gear smelled like Deet... as Steve would say "Good Times".

See pictures

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