High Sierra Camp Loop Backpacking Trip - Sep 17-24, 2019
2019-08-29 Another major concern is conditioning. One has to somehow have enough strength and endurance to do it. And though I do walk a fair bit, I don't do it very religiously or with much vigor. But when On August 8th I told my son John I was "in" for this trip, that began to change. Since then I've walked with purpose at first, then hiked and finally backpacked 43 miles. The last week I've carried a 30 lb pack every day for three miles or more up and down every hill I can find in our area! Next week I may do an 8 mile trail at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area just a few miles from our house. We'll see. My 74 year old frame isn't protesting too loudly!
2019-08-26 Food. A major concern for any extended trip. I just finished putting together four packets of what we have come to call "gruel", a breakfast mixture of oatmeal, chia seeds, oat bran, powdered whole milk, cinnamon and dried fruit. They are tasty, light weight and seem to give sustained energy. I also assembled three packets of Santa Fe Cheesy Beans and Rice another favorite for us. And I ordered three Texas State Fair Chile packets from Packit Gourmet along with two packets of their Dottie's Chicken and Dumplings and one Texas Mesquite Chicken Salad. That's a start!
The Cheesy Beans and Rice are generally made with hot water. But the other day I decided to make up some and let it soak in room temperature water for a few hours. It actually was pretty good. I think the same would be true for the breakfast gruel also. So should one have a problem heating water, there are options. If you package these in individual zip-lock freezer bags you can rehydreate and eat them right from the bag saving washing up.
2019-08-26 Yesterday afternoon I loaded my backpack to 25 lbs including two liters of water and a couple snacks and went out to the Richard Bong State Recreational Area just a few miles from where we live and did the Yellow Loop trail, 4.1 miles. It was a beautiful afternoon with clear skies and puffy clouds. Being a Sunday I met three groups of folks walking or bicycling on the trail. Saw one snake, one rabbit, a couple toads, a blue heron a half dozen Great White Heron and some mosquitoes. Wild flowers are everywhere. There were a few mud puddles on the trail but was able to navigate all of them without a problem. This was a continuation of my preparation for the High Sierra Camp Loop Trail John and I are planning to do September 17-24. So far I've walked or hiked 40 miles this month, about 1/3 of those with a loaded pack. I'm feeling pretty good about how the training is going. Too bad our elevations here are less than 1000 feet since about 7000 feet will be our lowest elevation on the trip!
2019-08-24 My son John and I are planning to do the 45 mile High Sierra Camp Loop Trail in September. We've bought our airline tickets and reserved a rental car and have the permit to do the trip in Yosemite National Park.
Lots of planning to do in order for this to happen but here we go! A couple concerns I have personally are,
1) The physical strength and endurance to actually do it. I'll be 75 in October, less than a month after the trip is completed. I've done a number of pretty major trips with John over the past several years but somehow this one seems the mos aggressive.
2) Weather. From the books I've read Fall is not a bad time to go there and may be the best time. But weather in those mountains is unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Temperatures on average are in the 70s & 80s in the day and 30s & 40s at night. And since things are unpredictable one author said to always end the day and camp on the descending side rather than the ascending side of peaks and ridges in case of snow!
And I guess that leads to a third concern, clothing. You want and need to keep pack weight to a reasonable minimum but you also need to be prepared for whatever happens. Those two things seem impossible! But lots of people do this so clearly is is NOT impossible.