Remembered how on last post we were just urging you to travel? Well, we take our own advice, not simply preach it. About a month ago, Bear got word that he was accepted to an international relations masters program. He'll be leaving to Italy in August for a year, and then DC for another year. How awesome is that? Very. We'll worry about that later, though. On a more immediate story, we've been checking-off a list of things to do before Bear leaves. One of these to-dos was to go back to Bishop. For the past year-and-a-half, Bishop has been our go-to for backpacking. It's beautiful and (at 4 hours away) fairly accessible from LA.
The furthest we've gone into this part of the Sierras is Midnight lake (pictured above), which is about 6 miles in from Lake Sabrina, where a few trails start. However, this time our goal was 3 miles in, at Blue Lake. It had been a while since any of us had been at 10k+ feet with 1k+ elevation gain, so we decided to take it easy to start off the season.
We started at about 11am. We meant to start earlier, but none of us woke up when we thought we would (3am...HA!). We tried, though.
The beauty of this place hits you immediately. It's basically impossible to go around a switch back and not think "whoa".
It took us about 3 hours to get to Blue Lake. We were greeted with an amazing view of snow covered peaks and a mostly-frozen lake. Everything seemed to have gone smoothly. Seemed. We rested for a few minutes and had lunch. Bear set up his tent with our friend, D.
As they did that, Beef and I (Baker), whipped out our Sports Chalet-rented tent. MISTAKE. The tent had been nicely rolled up, so we never bothered to unroll it and check that everything was in it. It fit so nicely in the bag! What happened when we unroll it? There's one fucking pole. One. On top of that, it was the wrong pole. It seemed like it belonged to some 6 person tent...not our 2 person. Not going to lie, we panicked for a bit. Well, it was more anger at ourselves and Sports Chalet than anything. After that minute of panic, we started brainstorming solutions. And what did we come up with?
We cut the crazy long pole enough to fit across one side, and used the remaining two pieces to give it some volume. We then anchored the top to the trees and rocks around us with the guy lines, hoping it'd hold down enough to block the wind.
We forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but it held up okay. Phew. We learned our lesson...buy a damn tent. Don't worry, we got all our money back. Those bastards...
At the the bottom of the trail, we ran into some fellow backpackers who were also hiking up to Blue Lake. Lo and behold, we ended up being neighbors!
This crew - Heath, Meagan, Kyle, and Jarred(?) - is freaking awesome! They were from Bakersfield. For the longest time we, or I more specifically, had been holding a grudge against Bakersfield because of a stupid speeding ticket. They taught us to appreciate the city. Especially their beer. We learned about farming, had dinner, threw back some beer, and smoked some cuban cigars with them. At one point a question came up. Kyle asked us what we did besides backpacking and climbing. We answered, "eat". Then we posed the same question. They did the same. It was hilarious. (Or at least that's what I think he asked...we were tired and had some beer in us). Put simply, all we really do is go out to nature...then eat. Ha! But seriously, thinking back, we do so much more. We push our limits, we connect with nature, we take in its beauty, we take pictures, we create memories, we get to know ourselves better, we make new friends! There you go, Kyle. We do more than eat and poop out there – haha.
Seriously, you meet the coolest people while camping/backpacking/hiking! (Except in Malibu...people there can be assholes)
(Side note: Good luck to Heath and Meagan in Hawaii!)
Now, here's some of those pictures we took:
All in all it was really fun trip. Went up with good friends (btw, way to go, D! It was her first time), and made more along the way.
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