July 19, 2011

Independence Day (a couple weeks late)

One of my goals this summer was to go backpacking. Matt had July 3 and 4 off so we decided to celebrate our independence by hiking to Crescent Lake, camping gear and food strapped to our backs and dog in tow.

We parked at the Carter Lake trail head and were off.

The first three miles of the trail were straight up hill. Matt definitely carried the bulk of our load...but only because his pack was much larger than my pack. :)

I volunteered to take the pictures...and hold Rio's leash.

We stopped after about two miles for a water break...

...and after about two hours of hiking, approached Carter Lake, which was about one mile west of Crescent Lake, our destination. Luckily, most of the uphill was over.

Rio scoped out our destination from afar....

Soon we approached Crescent Lake and pitched our tent. Initially we were going to camp right next to the lake, but with the wind, we decided to put the tent about 300 yards away from the lake. We were closer to trees and bushes which provided more protection in case it rained.

There was a bear canister about 1000 yards from our tent, which is where we put most of our food after eating lunch upon arriving to Crescent Lake. For lunch we had hummus with a tortilla and an apple. YUM!

After lunch, we fished (no luck), Matt fished (no luck), and we fished some more (no luck). It was still fun. 

As the evening unfolded, we decided to hang out in the tent for a bit before supper. Rio wasn't too happy as she would have rather been outside of the tent.

Most of the supplies we...err...Matt carried in his pack. Rio stood guard and watched for bears.

For supper, we ate dehydrated black beans and another tortilla. It definitely hit the spot.

After supper, we walked back to the bear canister to put the food away. About halfway there we saw a black bear run back into the bushes. Needless to say, we were a bit nervous finishing our walk to the canister and then completing our walk back to the tent.  

We took this picture at about 11:30 PM...and this is probably how we were feeling about each other at the time...

Just kidding.

Matt was getting tired and so was Rio. They went to bed while I finished a few chapters in my book.

At 4:00 AM, I got up to go to the bathroom. When I came back, Rio snuggled right up next to me in my sleeping back. So cute.

It was cold...probably 35 degrees...and bright. I don't remember the sun going down.

After waking up we headed over to the bear canister to pick up the things we left the night before and then put most of our things back into our backpacks. We left out the water purifier and coffee so we could brew a quick pick-me-up before our hike back to the trail head.

Crescent Lake.

As we left the campsite, it started to sprinkle. Luckily, most of the hike back was in the trees; however, by the time we got back to the truck it was raining pretty hard and we were pretty wet...including Rio...who was not too happy about being wet and having to sit between two wet backpacks. 
(This didn't last long. She was on my lap within five minutes of leaving...and sound asleep within ten minutes of leaving.) 

My first backpacking trip was definitely a success.

Happy 4th of July!