So, one of DH’s long standing requests of me was a three day, two night backpack trip somewhere. Every time we’ve planned it, I find a way to back out of the second night (it’s just a comfort thing for me…) anyways…I always told him that he just had to get me out far enough that I couldn’t back out of our second night. Well, leave it to him to pick a trip to do with when I’m 18 weeks pregnant (well, almost 18 weeks!)
With the impending new addition (and cold weather) he was itching to get one last backpack trip in for the two of us and my upcoming trip to California for work offered just that opportunity. We two two days off and headed out into the Yosemite backcountry for a few days of R&R (and with how work’s been lately, it was totally needed!).
The plan was for a 9 mile first day, 5 – 7 miles second day and a 7 mile hike out the third day. Things happened a little differently than planned but overall was a resounding success.
Day 1 was 11.4 miles to get to our final camp site when it was all said and done. We got a late start and we’d planned on 9 odd miles in. As it turns out, it took till 11 to find a suitable spot. The first 6 or so miles were flat and meandering thru a canyon next to a river. We took a number of breaks and even took a quick nap in the grassy flat next to the river (well, I did while DH took pics). The next 4 were pretty much straight up thru a series of switchbacks. We’d stop and take breaks often, catch our breath and fuel up with food. It took a while to get up them but we did. Once we crested, we turned left and headed out to where our lake was. It was a long slow slog – we were exhausted and the altitude was starting to get to us (we were at 10,700 feet or so) but the prospect of a beautiful lake was egging us on. At one point we headed cross country to try to find a suitable spot and just as we crested the ridge, we saw this:
Ireland lake! We looked quickly for a spot to bed down and once it was found I set up the tent and we promptly crashed and were out for the night (skipping all the sunset pics and starry night pics DH loves to take – we were just too tired). The bean let me know he/she was there as I was curling up to sleep by thumping me a few times from inside her comfy home.
The next morning we took our time getting up and moving. We broke camp around 10:00 and started our cross country trek up and over the saddle on to our next spot. It was to be a rather short day – 5 to 6 miles maybe and proved to be the best day on the whole trip (and even shorter than we thought!). We took our time climbing up to the saddle between the two basins and rested at the top for an hour or so just soaking in the sights and the silence. DH decided to climb the peak next to us while I relaxed and read my book! Once we were done there we made our way down the opposite side, took in a few lakes on our way and finally made it to our night spot at Fletcher lake.
The pic below is me and my belly at Townsley lake. Such a picturesque setting. Not much camping to be had here but it was a nice stop on the way.
Day two ended up being 4 miles at the longest (we wandered for awhile before dropping the tent so I’m not positive of how far we went). We were definitley tired – cross country travel is harder than trail travel so we made camp early, relaxed, and then took in an amazing sunset over Fletcher peak. The last treat of the night was sitting on a rock that was still warm from the days sun and watching the stars come out. From there we crawled in for the night and were out. Bean gave me a quick tap too to let me know he was happy we’d finally stopped moving.Day three greeted us with the sun lighting up the tent at about 6:30am. DH wanted badly to get some sunrise pics so I woke him up and shuffled him out of the tent with the camera and tripod. I promptly stole his thermarest and made myself a very cushy bed to catch a few last z’s on. I woke an hour later and he’s still no where to be found and the sun’s completely up. I figure he’s just on his way back and start to break camp, pack things up and make breakfast. He finally rolls in around 8:30 and has some amazing shots (I’ll get those posted to our photo blog in the next week or so). We eat, finish packing, and start our trek out. It’s mostly down hill but is still about 7 miles total. One quick stop for lunch and a dip in the river to numb our sore limbs and we were back at the car and alive! Baby went on it’s first backpack trip while still in mommy’s tummy. I can’t wait to tell him or her that when they get older.
Overall I think I did better on this trip than have have on non pregnant backpack trips. One, I was more conscious of my water and food intake and we took lots of time to rest and relax. Two, my pack was slightly lighter than normal. Three, I knew this was our last big backpack trip for quite a while so normal aches/pains/complaints held little weight in my brain and were quickly dismissed/suppressed and put aside so we could just enjoy the experience. Once bean is born we’ll have to wait until he/she can walk on their own to backpack again. For now we’ll have to stick with car camping or trips without one another so someone can watch the little one and that’s okay! I can’t wait to introduce our children to the wonders of backpacking and the outdoors. DH already had 4 or 5 trips planned to National Parks once they’re old enough to understand and appreciate.
This is going to be so much fun!