I wrote up my camping trip for our newsletter so here it is ...
Eastern Sierra Campout
Nine of us descended upon Four Jeffrey campground for a marvelous weekend of hiking and camping in the Eastern Sierra mountains. We had three sites reserved right next to the creek where we saw lots of people fishing and where we plopped our feet after long hikes! We all arrived by Friday night and everyone managed to arrive before dark. We made our plans for the morning and crawled in our tents for our first night.
Saturday's plan was a hike to Blue Lake followed by a potluck at the campground upon our return. We all piled into two cars and made our way to the Sabrina Lake trail head at 9:30 a.m. We were on the trail by 10 a.m. It was a hot sunny day. The first part of the trail hugged Sabrina lake and gave us many views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. At the intersection with the George Lake trail, we regathered and started heading up the Blue Lake switch back trail leaving George Lake unexplored. It was a hot slog and the altitude added to the effort but the views of Sabrina Lake and a small water fall were motivating! We finally reached Blue Lake and it was gorgeous. We found a wonderful flat rocky shore and sat with our feet dangling in the water as we ate our lunch. As we prepared to end lunch and hike back to the trailhead, we saw a large collection of mules heading down our trail. We gave them a head start and then started the descent. The descent was as beautiful as the ascent but by the time we reached the end of the hike folks were thinking about showers and cool creeks.
After the hike folks broke up to go in search of showers, soak their feet in the cold creek, drink a beer or cold soda, or nap. The potluck was at 7:30 p.m. Per usual on GLS trip potlucks the food was marvelous and the conversation wonderful. After the potluck, we lit a fire, and conversed some more. Then people slowly went to their tents to get lots of sleep for the long hike planned the next day.
On Sunday, two of our party drove home and seven of us headed to South Lake and our second hike. We parked at South Lake and headed off on the trail to Bishop Pass. The first part of the hike was mildly up hill and everyone was in good spirits. We were all glad that it was in the shade as it was a hot day to be hiking. We passed a few trail intersections and soon reached Long Lake, a beautiful alpine lake which is in fact very long! We had a nice rest stop at Long Lake. Then off we went passing by Long, Timberline, Saddlerock, and finally Bishop Lake. At Bishop Lake we took a breather before the big climb up to the pass. The climb is about 1/2 to 1 mile long and ascends steeply up switch backs to 11,960 feet at the pass. The hike leaders trailed in the rear with yours truly sucking air big time at the high altitude. I managed to make it to the top to a happy group of hikers sitting down to eat lunch and enjoy the view. Unfortunately, I was mildly altitude sick and after 15 minutes or so determined I needed to descend so we all descended back to Bishop lake. At the lake, most took off their boots and soaked their feet and splashed themselves to cool off. I sat in the shade and rested my altitude weary self. The hike back was hot but uneventful for most. I struggled along feeling ill and very tired most of the way back but I made it back and was proud of the accomplishment. We took a before and after picture of the hike and I think I managed to smile in the after picture despite my fatigue! One of our hikers posed in the after picture with water being dumped on her head as it was a very hot hike!
We headed back to the campground and spent the evening relaxing and recovering from the long hike! Some went off to have a shower and dinner out. Others also sought the six dollar 10 minute showers down the road and some of us stayed in camp. I was surprised later that evening that my feet were less sore and I was able to walk around and not feel battered like I did at the end of the hike. We soon all hit the hay and slept till morning when everyone slowly packed up and headed back to the bay area. All in all it was a great trip!