Friday, September 25, 2009

The Art Of Constant Walking

Trip Report - Backpacking in the Hover Wilderness
September, 2009

Recently Eric, Kenneth and I adventured into the wilderness to seek solitude, and to break our long distance walking records. We also recently moved into another apartment, which Eric and I have come to realize, is a lot like backpacking. We moved from one apartment in our complex into another - It was one of the easiest moves we have ever done because there was no truck, no boxes, and it reminded us a lot of backpacking because you put your stuff on your back.. Walk. Take all the stuff out of your pack. Pack it back in. Walk. Repeat. It took us just as long to move into a new apartment, as it did to backpack 22 miles. Two Days.

Getting ready to go

On this most recent trip, we attempted to backpack to Tower Peak. We drove up to the area the night before and slept in the car (with a bivy for Kenneth.) As it turns out, most of the people we saw on the trail the first day did the same thing. A group had already beaten us to the trail-head backpacker's parking lot, and were setting up camp for the night on the hard asphalt. The next day, everyone was excited and we hit the trail bright eyed and bushy tailed. That was a long day. It seems like we hiked forever, and we weren't entirely sure if we were making good time or not. Our original goal was either the upper meadows, or Tower Lake. We didn't make it as far as Tower Lake.

Pretty Lake

After hiking 11 miles on the first day, we were say the leased. All three of us decided it would be a good idea to sleep on top of a raised area in the medow. We found proof that people had camped here before from an old fire ring. We made dinner, cleaned up, and went to bed. After midnight we were awaken by the sound of large animals in our camp. I heard what sounded like a deer hoof, and I figured it was no big deal. Then I heard more... like five more. It sounded like these animals were throwing a party. Rocks were being tossed, trees were being bucked, and the curiosity of a few large sounding deer had taken over our camp. Eventually, Kenneth ripped open his tent and scared away the culprits.

In the morning we awoke to the aftermath of the deer. A chewed up REI walking stick, knocked over gear, and a cozy I had spilled food on chewed up and left 10-15 feet away from where I had left it. We had been ambushed by a gang of curious deer, taking advantage of a beautiful full moon lit night.

Chewed on Kenneth

The next day we were sore, and still pretty tired. We decided to take advantage of the three day weekend by hiking out the second day so we could spend Monday resting. It was a good choice. Even though Eric and I had been doing cardio at the gym to prepare for this trek, we hadn't actually been hiking in a while. This was a great reminder to our bodies that we should probably hike more.

Eric and Kenneth resting

It was a long second day, but we made it back alive, in one piece, without injury and that's what matters. We had a lot of fun backpacking in the sierra for the first time, enjoing all the wonders that create it's allure (including the boisterious wildlife!) I guess in a way backpacking got us ready for moving, it worked the right muscles and prepaired us for the hard work of walking back and forth carring stuff. Even though we didn't get all the way to Tower Peak, it was worth it. Every damn mile.

Kenneth in all his glory