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  1. #1
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    Penner Lake, July 2013. Tahoe Nat'l Forest



    I bailed on my overnight. BUT I got a lovely 6 1/2 mile hike with my 19lb load. So that was OK. I am going to be SORE tomorrow! I spend too much time on my bike and not enough time on the trail.

    I started at Carr/Feely trailhead again, taking the same initial route as my last excursion, to Island Lake. I took a break for snacks and water at the campsite I used on that trip.

    You can read about the trail from the trailhead to Island Lake in this trip report: Island Lake Report June 2013



    The trail from Island Lake to Penner has nice variety: shaded areas, some granite slab areas, and a whole lot of annoying scree used as trail surface.









    It is usually easy to find the trail, and when it gets a little unclear, there is probably a stomped down section within eyeshot. Some of the obscure areas have been delineated by rock edgings on the trail. Also, head for the downed trees that have been sawed apart. Basic stuff.

    There is a climb to get to the ridge above Penner.
    I stopped at every shade-producing tree or rock and looked around.

    The trail in this section is mostly the horrid scree

    This is a boot's-eye view of the scree. It averages deck of cards size.




    The lake is shrinking!


    The next three are all of the trail.








    Anyway, when you've gotten to the top of the annoying climb and can finally see Penner,



    don't get sucked into the false trail to the left (nice lunch spot if you don't need water right away), but head straight to the Crooked Lakes Trail sign and down the gully.



    Eventually the trail runs right next to Penner's eastern shore.

    I chatted with bunches of people coming and going on the trail.
    This does not look good, combined with all the cars at the trailhead, many more than I expected on a Tuesday morning.
    I think everyone from those cars was at Penner. And maybe some folk teleported in.

    One set of passersby and I traded pics. Apparently, I looked like a "regular person".
    Oh my



    Cast your mind back, back, back into the past. To a world of Kelty pack bags and aluminum frames. To a total absence of hipbelts. Squint at the picture of the brightly colored woman and let your mind drift, drift, drifyouaregettingsleepy

    I love my Molly Mac Pack. It is the most comfortable pack I own. But sometimes, I get to hankering for One Big Bag (yes, I know about the canoe pack Mac sells - I'm broke.)
    So I pulled out my modified Osprey Ariel 55 pack, loaded it up, and wandered around the house. Very pleased with the 17.5lb (19.5 with food and water) weight. But but but, it pulls on my neck. I have neck 'issues' and some packs, after about 5 minutes, make the back of my neck feel like it is out of whack, or will soon be out of whack. Which will lead very quickly to a monster headache. So. Not the Ariel.

    Let's try an old day pack - a 15 year old REI "alpine" pack. Nope. Hipbelt is useless, and the load sticks out about 2 feet from my back. The Bells! The Bells!

    Hm, hm hm. Whatever shall I do?

    Oh, what the heck. Let's dig really deep in the closet. BSA Explorer frame and a Kelty bag, circa 1976.
    Now, that's what I'm talking about.
    BOOYA
    I replaced the shoulder harness a while ago. No hipbelt. No problem.
    It carries quite well at 19 pounds (1/2 pound lighter than my modded Osprey Airel) even without a hipbelt. I believe I could manufacture a hip belt for this frame.
    On this trip, I ended up sometimes sticking my fingers under the shoulder straps or grabbing the bottom of the frame and lifting it a little, moves I remember from years past.

    3, 2, 1, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. Are you awake? Good.


    I can state that there are good places for several hammocks at Penner, right along the lake shore. Those good places were occupied by various dome tents, and one section by a very cheerful and very large group of 15 year old girls. As the 15 year olds and their adult minder and I were chatting, two USAF planes flew over, quite low. Go Air Force!

    Deciding that the lakeshore was a bust, I hiked back a ways to a spot in a grove of trees near a shallow pond. I'm not sure if the pond is part of Penner but there were still more people on the ridge beyond "my" pond, probably jumping into Penner Proper. "Marco!" "Polo!" Sploosh! SHRIEK!

    I boiled water for lunch



    (mashed potatoes with stuff added in: cheese, nuts, Fritos, sundried tomatoes. Yum)

    I set up and cozied up in my Warbonnet Traveler with a paperback.



    The wind was gusting quite strongly; the forecast called for 23mph gusts and I believe it.
    The weird thing was the gusts were coming from the southwest and the northwest. Made sheltering from the wind quite interesting.

    The effect of a gust on my poor tarp.


    Gusts from the other side would squash the tarp against the hammock. Sometimes my topquilt would come sailing out of the unoccupied hammock.

    After I added my windshirt AND piled on my topquilt AND staked the most annoying side of the tarp (southwest) down closer to the ground, I decided that I was rather chilly, enough to mess with enjoying my book. And I was already wearing most of my clothes. And it was sunny and 75 degrees. And that I would be even chiller if the wind did not drop at night even with lows of only 60.

    So I was wise and bailed. I hate being wise.

    If I am thinking there will be heat-sucking wind, WITH limited site selection (thanks, girls), I'll bring my big 10 x 11ft tarp. I did not. My bad. So sad.

    I briefly toyed with the idea of setting up again at Island Lake (not as windy) but the lure of the car - gateway to air conditioning, soft couch, and a big TV - was too much for my feeble willpower.



    My gear list is here (at GearGrams.) I finally have all the weights in. Yay me.

    The wind sucked more moisture out of me than I expected, and (unlike my bicycle rides) I didn't take any electrolyte with me. So I had some muscle twinges on the drive home. All better now after water and 'lytes!




  2. #2
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Great report and pictures, Liz! Thanks for posting.
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  3. #3
    aka.jobbe's Avatar
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    Thats looks like one fine trip.

  4. #4

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    Looked good. A hip belt should not be too hard to make. Some pockets in it will also change your load dynamics. As I write this I wonder if one can still buy hip belt replacements for frame packs that could be modified to fit... ;-)
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  5. #5
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
    As I write this I wonder if one can still buy hip belt replacements for frame packs that could be modified to fit... ;-)
    I bought (and returned) a replacement hipbelt at the same time I did the shoulder harness. My frame does not have the attachment points modern replacement belts rely on (and the belt was too small for my middle-aged-woman hips anyway).

    The frame has two wide canvas bands, one at shoulder blade height and one at aprox hipbelt height. I'm thinking I could make a replacement hip band that incorporates a belt, perhaps using some kind of narrow PALS array like Mac does on his Molly packs..

    When my dad added a "hip belt" to this frame in the 70s, it was a couple of pieces of leftover seatbelt straps, attached to the very bottom of the side rails. It sort of mashed the frame into your lower back. Not comfortable then, and less comfortable now that my butt's expanded a bit since then.

    The replacement shoulder harness includes a sternum strap! Oh, technology!

  6. #6
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsissewa View Post
    Great report and pictures, Liz! Thanks for posting.
    Thank you! Your sig line is exactly how I feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by aka.jobbe View Post
    Thats looks like one fine trip.
    Despite my lack of planning, it was indeed. Thanks!

  7. #7
    ssdivot's Avatar
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    Loved reading your report and seeing your pics! Brought back memory for me as my second ever backpacking trip I camped at Milk Lake (had to look at map to remember it) which is east of Island Lake. I'd taken my first backpacking trip just a couple of days earlier in the Caribou Wilderness and had gotten terrified in my tent in the middle of the night (it was september so long nights) convinced I something was walking around my tent perimeter and that something was either a bear, a serial killer, or Bigfoot. I have never been so scared before and knew even at the time it was illogical. I was quite mad at myself for being so silly so a couple nights later I went to that Milk lake determined to get over this fear and sat outside when it got dark and every time I heard a noise I would go find or try to find what it was. Found out a squirrel running around in the quiet night makes quite the racket. I heard some really odd noises. One I didn't go try to find was a long coyote like howl which was cut off with what sounded like a gunshot . Anyway no longer afraid of the dark, but I did right then switch to a tarp so that if there was something out there I'd at least be able to see it!

    Thanks for the trip report! Oh like your bandana, I do same thing with mine on the packstrap!

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    As always, a thorough trip report. But, what I want to know is did you find time for smores? Looks like a beautiful hike, sorry for the crowds and wind.

  9. #9
    OutandBack's Avatar
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    Great TR thank you for sharing your trip and the walk down memory lane on gear. I still have most of my gear from the 70's
    O&B
    May your mileage in the backcountry exceed your post count.

  10. #10
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssdivot View Post
    Thanks for the trip report! Oh like your bandana, I do same thing with mine on the packstrap!
    I sweat like no one's business so I like to have it there for mopping purposes. And it is festive and bright!

    Quote Originally Posted by OutandBack View Post
    Great TR thank you for sharing your trip and the walk down memory lane on gear. I still have most of my gear from the 70's
    I'm considering building a new bag for the old frame. Ponder ponder ponder.

    Quote Originally Posted by garyg763 View Post
    As always, a thorough trip report. But, what I want to know is did you find time for smores? Looks like a beautiful hike, sorry for the crowds and wind.
    No campfires allowes = no smores. Boo hoo.

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