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:
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:
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?
I even took my knitting with me:
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:
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.