KingMidget's Ramblings

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Why I Went Backpacking this Weekend

When I was in my 20’s I camped occasionally … car camping.  I would join my family on vacations up in the mountains — for years we stayed in cabins on Silver Lake, a lake in the Sierra Nevadas about 45 minutes south of Lake Tahoe.  The cabins are rustic.  No TVs, no internet.  But there’s the lake and kayaks and so many great hikes in the area, You could just keep hiking and never cover all of them.  For those few years, I went on a number of those hikes and they were good.  Hiking into spots you can’t get to from the road.  Sitting by a small lake high in the mountains and just enjoying the beauty and quiet for a time.

When my kids came along, there were a few more trips to Silver Lake, and some to Lake Tahoe, but somewhere along the way, that kind of outdoors time has gone by the wayside.  A couple of things happened to change that.  I started my American River project and have spent a few weekend mornings traipsing along the American River.  And a co-worker shared pictures from some of his backpacking trips and I realized there was this whole world I was missing.

It’s that world out there, beyond the roads and well-traveled places.  Hidden lakes, high mountain meadows, waterfalls, creeks … nature.  Beauty as unspoiled my human’s intervention as it’s possible these days.  Which, you know, it takes trails to get to these places, so there still is some human intervention, but …

So, I went on my first backpacking trip this weekend.  Here’s why…

IMG_5609This Granite Lake and behind it Thunder Mountain.  I’ve hiked to Granite Lake before.  It’s just a short 1.5 mile trek from Silver Lake where we used to stay.  But I’ve never woke up to this view or spent the day looking at.

Or from there, spent half a day on a 10 mile hike to …

Hidden Lake (never made it here before yesterday.  It’s another couple of miles past Granite Lake.


Allen Ranch Meadow (never made it here before either.  It’s a couple more miles past Hidden Lake.  Once upon a time, cattle were brought here to graze in the summers.)


And as the sun set last night…


And that’s why I went backpacking this weekend.  I’ll do it again.


17 responses to “Why I Went Backpacking this Weekend

  1. JunkChuck June 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Looks magnificent. I’m envious.

    I hiked a ton when I was young, and still car camp with my family–spending 3 weeks this summer tenting across the west, but I think a pop-up camper might be in my future.

    • kingmidget June 14, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      And I’m envious of your upcoming trip. It’s what I need to do more of in the future. With our kids I wasn’t a big fan of car camping an I regret that now. But I just wasn’t a fan of all the stuff you need to pack up for car camping. I’m working on getting over that.

    • kingmidget June 14, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Where are headed this summer?

  2. Carrie Rubin June 14, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Gorgeous pictures. Looks like you made a wise decision.

  3. Conversations With The Moon June 14, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Wow…just looking at these pictures lowered my heart rate a few beats.

  4. John W. Howell June 15, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Beautiful. While living in Sonoma, (the town) we used to do weekend trips to the Sierras. Wish we could have known about these spots.

  5. sknicholls June 15, 2015 at 5:56 am

    What beautiful scenery and you captured it well. Glad you got away. Would love the experience but not certain I could hike the ten miles.

    • kingmidget June 15, 2015 at 6:37 am

      It was advertised as a 6 or 7 mile hike. But on our way back down from the Meadow, we decided to take a side trip to a place called Plassee’s to get a cold drink and then on our way from Plassee’s back to Granite Lake, we took a wrong turn. And ten miles later … and a blister on my heel and fatigue in my legs …

  6. Bruce Thiesen June 15, 2015 at 6:26 am

    These sound like sound reasons to me.

  7. Sally July 11, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Beautiful! I’m still nursing two gigantic blisters after my backpacking trip, but there is nothing that compares to the sense of accomplishment or the beauty of the hidden places we can get to with a backpack!

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