Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mom & Amy Backpacking Day 5- PCT Meadow to Marion Lake welcoming committee and home

Mom- We started out at 6:45am.  We were trying to make it 10.5 miles to Marion Lake by 12:30 but knew this would be an enormous challenge.  We continued to remind each other to stay mindful.
Mom- We saw Mt. Washington in the distance.
Mom- We crossed through some snow on the trail and met up with another hiker who told us to expect more down trees in our future!
Mom- We enjoyed the 3? mile ridge walk on the PCT and finally came to a junction heading west toward Marion Lake, still making pretty good time at 9:30am.
Amy- This is another royal queen throne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- We headed down the Swallow Lake trail on steep, loose gravel.  Quickly my legs turned to jello.
Mom- Amy continued to push herself in "second gear" when possible and was very motivated to meet our friend.  Finally we arrived at Swallow Lake!  I tried to continue to the other end of the lake, causing us to backtrack despite Amy's request for us to go down to this part of the lake.
Mom- We ate some second breakfast and boiled some reserve lake water.  We tried to keep the break short and continued toward the final junction.
Mom- We enjoyed the Columbine.  Unfortunately, the trail became full of down trees again and going was quite slow through the burnt forest.  Finally we arrived at the final section and turned south to Marion Lake.
Mom- After 1.7 miles of more down trees, we finally arrived at Marion Lake and hiked our final mile to meet our friend Sarah!
Mom- We got to Lake Ann 2 hours late, but 10.5 miles by 2:30pm is very good for backpackers, even adult backpackers not to mention first time seven year old backpackers.
Mom- We were so excited to see sister Analise and Sarah who were just minutes away from leaving back to the car.
Amy- I was SO HAPPY to get to Sarah and Analise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I finally got to share my throne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- We hiked slowly, at two year old pace, which was great for us, the last 1.8 miles to the car making it a 12 mile day!
Amy- Analise and I kept asking to take pictures by trees.
Mom- I am so proud of both of us, but especially seven year old Amy, for her tenacity, graciousness, and courage to complete this very long journey with mindfulness!  I could not have done it without her by my side.  It was an intensely beautiful and intensely challenging 40 mile hike!
Amy- We finally made it to Sarah's car. We were glad to get to take our backpacks off for longer than when we camped at our campsites for the night.

Mom & Amy Backpacking Day 4- Pamelia Lake to PCT Meadow

Mom- We woke up Thursday morning enjoying our beautiful Pamelia Lake camp and knowing we had a big climb ahead of us.  Our backs had now adjusted and we felt up for this challenge but hoped it did not include quite so much brush, down trees, and devils club.
Mom- The water around our campsite was so lovely.  We took time to write gratitudes, read a prayer card, and wrote this breath prayer- "Faithful Spirit, walk with us, and keep us mindful."  We said this prayer at every switchback and had some excellent conversation regarding what faithfulness and mindfulness looks like.
Amy- Our camp had a small waterfall over the log.
Mom- We started our day with another ankle deep stream crossing and a lost trail.  We realized our toilet paper and hand sanitizer was missing and had a hiking pole go missing while looking for the trail.
Mom- We discussed how being afraid and anxious can sometimes cause me to become short with others.  We agreed to be kind to each other and let each other know if we are feeling anxious or afraid.  Amy was a huge help today.  She was the leader on the whole hike and time keeper.  She was able to "downshift" into second gear on flatter sections to cover more distance.
Mom- We saw three little frogs and this guy.
Amy- We stopped to have lunch of salmon pesto. Flies were bothering us. So when we were done with the salmon mom set the salmon wrapper away from us there were about 50 flies on the wrapper. I accidentally dropped some noodles mom set those away from us too! There were 2 noodles each one had about 20 flies.
Amy- Selfie with Mt. Jefferson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy- Continuing the climb we saw a beautiful lake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- After hiking the four miles uphill, we discovered that the section of trail to Marion Lake was closed due to wildfire damage.  I was frustrated that the ranger who I had shared my plans with had not let me know this and was concerned that this would add 5 miles to our trip including a 1.6 mile trip East back to the PCT.  We had already climbed four miles and were pretty tired.  We asked some other hikers about camping options on the PCT and they suggested a side trail to some lakes.
Mom- We left most of our gear on top of the hill and hiked 1.5 miles down to a beautiful meadow with lakes to filter water.  We made it back up the hill around 6pm.  We cooked a little dinner and then continued very slowly on the PCT.
Mom- We were both quite tired but continued as far as we could and tried to enjoy the ridge top view of Three Fingered Jack.

Mom- We saw the Three Sisters in the distance.
Mom- We made it two miles? south on the PCT and camped in an open meadow making it an 11 mile day which included a four mile climb and another 1.5 mile climb getting water.  We were both very tired.

Mom & Amy Backpacking Day 3- Jefferson Park to Pamelia Lake

Mom- I slept okay but heard two coyotes fighting in the middle of the night very near the campsite, which woke me up for awhile.  I was up early as is my pattern when sleeping in the woods.  I boiled water and started breakfast.  It was a bit hard to motivate Amy and the mosquitoes were out again by the time she was having her breakfast, but I had some good time to write and read while those mosquitoes were still sleeping.
Mom- I was still amazed to be enjoying the close view of Mt. Jefferson!  Jefferson Park is incredible!  It was an honor to camp in such a lovely place.
Amy- Mt. Jefferson was the most beautiful thing I ever saw up close!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- We started our day of descent through wildflower meadows and past small alpine lakes.
Mom- Amy decided she was up for continuing our five day trip.  I so admire her tenacious spirit.  We spent some time in the morning with a prayer card and writing gratitudes.
Mom- After descending to the meadow, we came to Russel Creek which flows straight out of the Russel Glacier.
Mom- We crossed over the ankle deep water of Russel Creek making for a day of very wet feet.
Mom- We were expecting a long, but somewhat easier day of hiking downhill toward Pamelia Lake.  When we started descending we quickly started hiking over a lot of brush and down trees.  There was quite a bit of devil's club.  There were places I was not sure I would make it with my big pack.
Mom- It was slow going, but there were some views along the way and the forest was lovely.
Amy- there was some sad ruined nature from a big fire.
Amy- We took a long break at some rocks.  I pretended they were thrones. The highest rock was for God the king. The next highest was for Analise the princess. The other high spot was for me the queen. the magic warm couch for mom the fairy godmother.
Mom- We stopped to have lunch at a small lake.  Rather than filter, we boiled water for lunch and boiled more water for reserves.  It was a pretty little spot.
Mom- We continued to see pretty rhododendrons.  We met up with a thru hiker with the trail name "baby moose".  She said she hopes to be out backpacking when she has kids as well.  She was pretty impressed? or amused by the weight of my pack, but I was carrying two sleeping bags, two sleeping pads, and food for two.  I did have things hanging all over the place and it was not exactly a lightweight backpacking job.
Mom- We crossed another ankle deep creek called Milk Creek.
Amy- There were a lot of good smelling pine needles.
Mom- We turned off the PCT and took a trail west toward Pamelia Lake.
Amy- This mushroom is a gigantic mushroom for a mushroom!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- We got to Pamelia Lake late in the afternoon.  The water was so low!
Amy- Pamelia Lake had a couple islands too.
Mom- We started to set up camp then realized via some hikers that we needed to camp in a designated site.  There was only one on our side of the lake as far as I could tell and we were glad to pack back up and snag it.  We had hiked 7.5 miles which should have been "easy" and downhill but were actually quite slow.
Amy- We had another tent party which was pretty fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!