Friday, August 27, 2010

The end of summer is drawing near...

It's now nearly the end of August. The month started and ended with fantastic backpacking trips and in the middle, we had a wonderful visit from Susanna's mom and dad. The weather has continued to be hot and sunny inland and cool with morning fog and afternoon sun along the coast. The meadows, that were so brilliant green in the late spring and early summer, are now golden. Leaves are starting to change in a few places and the breezes of the last day or two have had a touch of Fall in them.
The first two photos are from our most recent backpacking trip in the King Range NCA along the southern segment of the Lost Coast Trail. The sunset is from near the top of Manzania Mountain looking out over the Pacific Ocean. The following morning, the ocean was covered in a layer of fog, but we were in the blue sky and sun!
The following photos were taken from Patricks Point State Park and Redwood National Park along the Bald Hills.

Granite Lake

In the first weekend of August we backpacked deep into the Trinity Alps Wilderness to Granite Lake. We set up camp along a small hill of smooth rock overlooking this gem of a lake nestled along a ring of stunning, jagged mountains. The weather was hot and sunny, so we quickly jumped into the cool water for a very refreshing swim. We are in the heart of summer in the mountains now. The wildflowers are abundant, the snow fields have diminished considerably and the sun feels hot. We are certainly living up the summer!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A walk on the PCT

This walk on the Pacific Crest Trail was a 157 mile walk! My brother John and I began a 10-day backpacking trip in Seiad Valley in Northern California almost at the Oregon border. We headed south on the PCT up into Marble Mountain Wilderness (which involved a nearly 5,000 foot climb). The Russian Wilderness was next, followed by Trinity Alps Wilderness and finally Castle Crags Wilderness and our ending point along I-5.

On day 3, we first saw a gigantic, snow drapped mountain to the east and south. This was our first view of Mount Shasta (14,162 feet). Over the next 7 days, we continued to get closer and closer to this giant. For much of the hike, the trail followed ridgelines to high mountain passes and beautiful, refreshing lakes with near continuous views of more mountains than we could count. We had many incredible campsites and so many awesome moments along the trail that it would be hard to account for all of it in a simple blog. These photos give a sampling of life on the PCT in Northern California!

Family Reunion

In mid-July, my family began arriving from all over the globe. Mom, Dad and Mark arrived on July 15th, after driving from Michigan. John, Tatiana and Calista arrived on July 17th after an even longer drive from Washington D.C. Then, on July 19th, Dan, Margaret, Caleb and Anneke arrived from Fort Collins, Colorado. The reason for the gathering was to celebrate our parents 40th wedding anniversary.
Our house turned in to a mini-hotel/campground for a few days before we all went to a beautiful lodge in the coastal town of Trinidad.
We spent our days exploring the local town, hiking trails in Trinidad and Redwood National Park, walking along the nearby quiet beaches and relaxing at the lodge. In the evenings we lounged in the hot tub on the deck of the lodge or sat around a roaring campfire in the midst of the coastal redwoods. It was a wonderful time! My brother John and I extended the reunion by backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail for 10 days...

High in the Alps

In early July, we climbed high into the Trinity Alps for a night along Stoddard Lake. The reflections were perfect when we arrived. After dinner, a thunderstorm developed with booming thunder and bolts of lightning, but only a few sprinkles. It was enough to have a beautiful rainbow though. On our hike out the following day, we spotted a large black bear.