camping adventure

Well we are unpacked, and most of the laundry is done! It’s nice to be home, but it’s also kind of a letdown–post-holiday blues, I guess. We had a fun time, even though some things didn’t go quite as planned. First we went to Peter’s parents’ house in the mountains near Yosemite so we could celebrate Peter’s mom’s birthday (and also so we could drop off Deedlehead). I got some nice photos of her receiving birthday cake at a restaurant, but she told me, “I’D BETTER NOT SEE THAT ON YOUR BLOG,” so there you go!
We then headed off to Berkeley Family Camp near Groveland to see some friends from Oregon who always come down for camp. It was very high density and very active, but since it’s Berkeley, it was very fun and interesting, and freshly ground coffee was available at all times! We took a day trip to Hetch Hetchy Dam, which was pretty fascinating, and took a hike down to the river on a trail called Poopenaut. Why is it called this? Because you get totally pooped out! It’s only one mile each way, but that mile is so steep that you practically have to swing off of tree branches. It’s a good thing we had acquired some sour Jujyfruits at a mountain store for sustenance beforehand. Here’s a blurry shot of our friends:

vacation wendy and gang.JPG

It was then on to backpacking. We went to the Emigrant Wilderness north of Yosemite. The plan was to spend 3 nights and 4 days out there. We hoped to hike in to Chewing Gum Lake for the first night, which was about 4 miles in. After about a mile and a half, though, my boot felt kind of funny, like it was coming apart. Well, it was. The sole was coming completely detached! Mind you, these boots are 15 years old, but they are good boots. I think the glue just gave out. One guy on the trail gave us some white tape, another guy had a little bit of electrical tape, and Peter had some string, but it wasn’t looking too hopeful. We decided to set up camp at the first lake, Lake Powell, which was 2 miles in. I then walked back out to the car, got my running shoes (I also sucked down a lemonade and a bunch of Wheat Thins that were in the cooler), and ran/walked back to camp. It was only 2 miles, but the elevation was about 8,800 feet, so it felt much farther! Here’s a photo of Peter on the hike in:
vacation pp emigrant.JPG
The next day we planned to go to Toe Jam Lake (that’s really what it’s called), but it was another 7 miles or so, and that seemed really, really far to us, so we decided to go another couple of miles to Chewing Gum Lake, set up camp, then go on a day hike to Toe Jam the following day. We made it to Chewing Gum without incident. It’s a gorgeous lake. See?
vacation chewing gum from camp 2.JPG
I even took my knitting with me:
vacation tent knitting 2.JPG
Yeah, it’s a posed picture. I actually spent more time knitting on the granite slabs than in the tent.
The lake called to us, so we went swimming (okay, so I made it almost up to my waist, which is pretty good for a water wimp like me. It took me about 20 minutes to get that deep, too). There were quite a few other campers there, and they were all swimming like it was bath water, but I thought it was pretty darn cold. Anyway, Peter was getting out of the water, and suddenly his foot slipped, and he scraped off a chunk of skin on the bottom of his foot! It was one of those nasty skin flaps, and it was right on the ball of his foot. Ouch. Of course we had no first aid, so I had to go to the next camp and borrow some antibiotic ointment. Peter had to devise a pad out of a cut up washcloth and keep his sock on at all times. The day hike to Toe Jam was not looking very promising at that point!
Okay, so then it was time to make dinner, so I went to pump some water for cooking noodles. The pump was all stiff for some reason, and it was taking all my strength to pump little squirts of water. I reported back to Peter, so he went to pump some more water, and, oops, the pump died. Completely. We had no backup iodine pills or anything, and we only had two bottles of water. We decided that we had better get the heck off the mountain the next morning. We had to skip the hot cocoa and the morning coffee to conserve our water, and we just hightailed it out of there and headed to the town of Sonora, where the Aladdin Motor Inn beckoned to us with their $65 a night rooms with king-size beds and free HBO. Woohoo! After showering and doing some laundry, we went into Sonora to the yarn store (!) and ate burgers (a post-backpacking tradition, according to Peter) at a little grill next to the yarn store. We then returned to the Aladdin and stayed up until midnight watching Six Feet Under.
Is this interesting to anyone? Anyway, that’s about it for the vacation. We also went by the Bay Area to see this boat:
sea 1.JPG
Remember the super crafty Mrs. H from Portland? Well, another one of her amazing daughters is a scientist aboard this ship, which takes students out on research trips. We got a nice tour of the boat.
Okay, I have to go to bed now.

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13 Responses to camping adventure

  1. J Strizzy says:

    Man, that’s a hell of a trip! After all that I’m glad to hear you guys made it back to civilization in once piece (well, except for the foot flap).

  2. Jenny says:

    Yes! It’s interesting! Thanks for the photos! I especially enjoyed the one of you knitting in the tent surrounded by the huge trees! I laughed when you made it back to civilization and the yarn store!Great post!

  3. Jenn says:

    Wow, what a trip. Glad you’re all right and hope Peter’s foot is doing better! I hope you have a suitable burial for your hiking boots!

  4. Terri says:

    Wow – it sounds like the “what not to do” backpacking trip. No first aid? No extra water? For shame 😉 I am the opposite extreme and you would be amazed at what’s in my pack! Great pics! Hope you are all recovered and I mourn the loss of your boot with you. (Good boots are hard to find!)

  5. Melissa says:

    I know that vessel! 20 years ago I did the Sea Semester program. Those were the days when there was only one vessel and everything was on the east coast. A good friend videotaped the building of the Seamans in Washington.

  6. greta says:

    Welcome back, sister LEO! Sounds like you had quite an *adventure*….Yarn store in sonora? Do Tell!

  7. Deb says:

    I’m glad you had such a great trip!! I had a great one in SF as well. Thanks for the chocolate tip:) yum and I got enough Kyoto for a sweater in white and a scarf in red. I love the sheen!

  8. claudia says:

    Hotel camping is *my* kind of camping!

  9. Marie says:

    LOL! That’s why I don’t go camping! 🙂 I’m glad that you still had a good time though. I’m loving this season of Six Feet Under! Such great tv!
    The one thing that I can’t get over, and maybe this is because I’m a Brit, is that there’s actually a lake called Chewing Gum! Do you know where the name comes from?

  10. Silvia says:

    As gorgeous as those pictures are, I’m not down with the camping. I see my sis has already noted our family tradition…hotel camping.
    Glad you’re back safe and sound, and it sounds like a trip to the camping store (is there really such a thing?) is in the offing.

  11. amy says:

    I don’t know, when all is said and done (and now that you are safely HOME) it sounds like an interesting adventure to me! Bookmarked the Berkeley camp, looks like a destination for a BC family who have longed to make it to the state (well I have longed anyway…) Hotels, they are fantastic aren’t they 😉 The ones with room service rank right up there with heaven!

  12. Em says:

    “Is this interesting?” Are you kidding? I loved reading about your trip. I haven’t been camping in sooooo long, but I swear I could feel the earth and the bugs and the pain and I can’t believe no one brought first aid.
    Toe Jam. Heh. That’s almost as good as Crotch Lake.

  13. Debbie says:

    Glad you had a great time & thanks for posting the trip pictures–really makes me miss northern california….. *sigh*
    Have a great week!

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