Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Treasure Lake

Went on a backpacking trip up into the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains over the weekend. Kevin invited me along with him and his friends from the base.

We headed up towards Bishop on Thursday morning. We left the house around 8, but had a VERY slow start and didn't actually get on the road till noon-ish.

The drive was beautiful, but with all of the stops we made along the way, it was also very long.

We got into town at Bishop around 5:30, and still had to go driving around looking for a place to get a fishing license.

We made it to South Lake around 7.

The sun was already setting behind whe mountains by the time we were ready to head up, but we went anyway. It got dark pretty fast.

It was only a 3 mile hike, but it was BRUTAL.
In that 3 miles, we climbed over 4000 feet. Two thirds of the hike was stairs carved out of stone, which after the first hour or so, I started calling "The Stairs of 'NOPE'". They were carved un-evenly, and ALL of them were cut higher than normal stairs. Many of them were as high as my knees, and a few were even higher.

By the time we got near the end of the hike, I was stopping to rest every 5 minutes. Kevin was taking his pack up a ways, then coming back for mine because I couldn't carry it anymore. I felt terrible for letting him, but if he didn't, we would have had to stop and spend the night right there on the trail.

After around Kevin's 3rd trip back for me, he had good news. He had found the lake. VERY good news, as we were starting to get worried that we had missed it in the dark. It was around midnight. We got to the lake, set up our camping area, and passed out.

Friday morning, I got to meet Kevins friends, Percy, Angel, and Percy's son, Clint. We all had breakfast together. Percy brought mint from his garden at home for tea, it was delicious.

After breakfast, we went fishing. Kevin and I didn't catch anything, but the other guys caught seven fish. Therewere five of us up there, so that was plenty.

We had fried fish, rice, ramen, and corned beef from a can for dinner. It was pretty good.

The wind kicked up during the day, and by dinner it was REALLY cold, so we all turned in early to try to stay warm. Once I was in my tent, I stayed up late reading. I brought my Kindle just for that - I was reading book 4 of Song of Ice and Fire (the Game of Thrones books)

Saturday morning, the wind continued to blow, and it stayed really cold. There were wisps of clouds in the sky, where Friday it had been brilliantly clear and blue.

We tried to fish for a little while. I really wanted Kevin to catch something, because it was his first time fishing.

The wisps became more frequent, and more dense. Angel made a crack about rain and suggested heading down early. I commented that, as cold as it was, it would be snow, not rain. The clouds didn't look dark enough for rain, but we started packing up anyway.

We headed down the trail, and the clouds got denser and darker. Sure enough, about halfway down it started to snow. Not a lot, but enough that we noticed.

I still needed breaks on the way down. The stairs were murder on my knees just as much as they had been on the way up. We lagged behind the other guys a bit, so most of the way down it was just Kevin and me.

Around 4:30, we were nearly in sight of the parking lot when Percy came back looking for us. He thought we had gotten lost or something. Angel had headed home already, but Percy invited us out for dinner on him, saying we had earned it.

He told us that he had picked the trail, thinking that it was a nice, short, beginner trail that we could use to get used to hiking. Apparently Angel had been new to this too.

We went to a little place right next to the ranger station in Bishop called Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ for dinner. SOOO delicious.

Got home around 10pm Saturday night. Had an awesome time.

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