Monday, July 20, 2009

Jennie Lake Wilderness

A few months back, Jennifer and I were discussing a Summer vacation that we would take this year. We were discussing Italy, Costa Rica, or even Hawaii. All of our choices would have been amazing, yet expensive. This is when Jennifer said the words that I thought I would never hear come from her mouth. She said, "Mike! What if we spend our money buying camping gear instead of going to Italy"! Maybe that wasn't her exact words but that was the gist of it and what she was saying is that we should spend money on something that we can reuse again. I couldn't be happier. Months later we had everything and our weekend getaway was just last week.
We decided to go on a three day two night hike to Jennie Lakes which is in the Sequoia Nation Forrest. Think of Fresno and Lone Pine. We were somewhere in between. I took off work on Friday so we could hike on Friday through Sunday. We left early and got to the trail head sometime around 2:00 in the afternoon. As a side note, we took the most ridiculous way to get there. Our drive was probably an hour longer than it should have been. If you need to know how to get there let me know and I can point you in the right direction now.

Let me have Jennifer take over for a minute because I know she loves telling how this trip went.

Ok first of all my back pack was only supposed to be no more than 18 lbs. and it ended up being over 28 lbs.!!! Our first day of hiking was only 3.2 miles but was all uphill. It was really hard but I think it was because I was still adjusting to the altitude. We crossed all these beautiful creeks and the Forest and meadows were incredible. One of the highlights of this day was when we crossed this creek and saw 15-20 butterflies flying around this one spot.
Here is a picture of my hot husband figuring out where to go and how much longer we have to hike for this day. He always knew where we were on the map even though he didn't always explain it well to me.
I'm throwing in a few random pictures of that day of the trail, scenery, and us.
Finally we made it to our first destination, Weaver Lake! It was so beautiful and was like a crossing the finish line of a long race.

We immediately met some really nice people who told us of a camp site across the lake that was really "easy to get to". They pointed us in the direction to go and we were on our way. I think it is important to remind you that I was wearing a 28 lbs. pack and Mike was wearing 48 lbs.! After jumping over these huge boulders and trekking through marshlands, we made it to the campsite! It was beautiful. Ok, Mike's turn to write.

We set up camp, got firewood, and got dinner ready. Can I just say now that lighting a fire "Bear Grylls Style" is not easy. I tried that flint for probably a half hour before Jenny finally made me use the matches. Here are some pictures of Weaver Lake.

It was really cool having our tent only about 50 feet from the lake.

Our tent faced west so we got an amazing view of the sunset. I am in the lower left corner pumping the lake water through our water filter. You probably won't believe this but this is the tastiest water you would ever have if you get the chance. Screw Arrowhead!!! The next morning...
We had to hang our food so the bears couldn't get to it. We found out later that this was ineffective. Ohh well.
Jenny and I packed up and left that morning for an 8.7 mile hike to Jennie Lake. Here is Jenny flexing in a Lilly grove.This hike was pure punishment. I think we gained over 2,000 feet in this one day. We hiked down this huge valley and back up this huge mountain, crossed four creeks, drank all of our water (I was able to pump more at the creeks), and fought very painful feet. I was so impressed by Jenny. I couldn't believe how hard she was working. Don't get me wrong here, she definitely complained a few times but I thought it would have been much worse. We were both really drained. Here are a few pics of that hike.
Finally we made it to Jennie Lake. We set up camp again, had a fire again, had dinner again, and slept again. The next day we did some fishing and exploring before we took off to the car.
This picture is from where our tent was that night.
Unfortunately we had to leave. This day of hiking was about 7 miles and was probably one of our easiest days of hiking except our bodies were starting to feel the pain. Here is how we finished our hike.
This was a great site. Through the trees we finally saw my car which I don't think ever looked so amazing.Sequoia are some of the oldest and largest living things on planet earth. This one behind me was actually quite small considering some of the larger ones we saw driving out of the park. This one behind me is over two thousand years old.All in all we are definitely going on another hike soon. We will do it a little differently next time though. For instants we plan on going to one campsite so we can explore more and hike less. We are also going to pack fewer things. In the end Jennifer got 4 blisters and some sore feet. She feels it was well worth it though. Also as a side note, I really like my hat so suck it.

The End...


Kelly and Nate Wright said...

I'm glad you guys had fun. Jen is awesome. You guys both tell your stories so well. Mike, I really like your hat. I think you look like Indiana Jones!!

The Steelwells said...

i couldn't be more envious of your weekend or your hat.

Bek said...

i like it when jennifer blogs. she's a better blogger than butt.

Elise said...

A good trip always includes In-N-Out. Looks like a fun time. We will have to go camping together some time.