I had a lot of chores around the house to do so I ended up going out late yesterday just to get in a bit of hiking and a night under the stars. So I headed out to the area where I went a few weeks ago to see if I could do a better job of staying on trail and actually find Eagle Lake.
Lake Spaulding is starting to fill up with all the early snow melt.
I hiked and hiked. The trail is a tough one, very rocky and quite overgrown. Several times I got out my GPS, map and compass to figure out where the heck the trail was suppose to be. There were long sections where you only knew where the trail was by following rock cairns people had set up. I added a few more in some tricky stretches. Because of the difficulty of just staying on the trail I didn't take any pictures until I finally arrived at Eagle Lake. It's a pretty typical Sierra lake for that area.
I set up camp and was darn glad I built a Fronkey style bug net with a big Uni-Tape opening on one end because the mosquitoes were out in force. That uni-tape is like Velcro but it won't stick to the netting. Also, it allows me to set up my hammock, pad and sleeping bag and then simply pull the net over the whole thing and then seal the end. I still have the shock corded opening in the bottom to enter and exit.
I was in the hammock and sleeping just as the distant peaks were falling into shadow. When it started getting light the next morning I thought "I'll just sleep in until the peaks on the other side of the valley are in sunlight. Then it changed to "I'll just sleep in until the tree tops are in sunlight. That changed to "I'll just sleep in until there's sunlight on the ground. When the sun was shining in my face I decided I better get out of bed.
WAY back in the woods you have to make 2 crossing of Granite Creek. The first one is a moderate to difficult log/rock crossing which kept me on my toes because I was out there alone and really didn't want to get hurt. But the 2nd crossing surprised me because the forest service built a bridge. Well that's convenient!
The hike out this morning really beat me up. I've gone from 20 to 30 miles per week of conditioning runs down to 5 miles a week. I've got to get back in gear and start building up my stamina again. I'm not quite "just off the couch" out of shape, but I can tell I'm not where I was 2 months ago when I could do my local 7 mile trail run in 2:45. This trip was 6 miles each way with a full pack on rough, rocky trails and it kicked my butt.
However, on the way back I did get to see sights like this waterfall.
I'm tired, sore and happy which means it was a darn good overnight trip. I'm lucky enough to live in a place where I can do chores in the morning, get out the door by 1pm, be on the trail by 2pm, hike half a dozen miles and be done before sundown. I can then hike out the next morning, grab a lunch on the drive back and still be home by 2. It's not a bad way to spend a weekend.