Emigrant Wilderness

Recapping on a kick-butt 4th of July hike with my friend Sarah. Thanks to her suggestion, I avoided binge drinking and getting sunburnt, left the city and headed for the wilderness. We drove up to Kennedy Meadows and backpacked into the mountains. The second half of the trek was off trail but we  had a general idea of where we wanted to end up. There were five small lakes we saw on the map, and our goal was to get to one of them the first evening before sunset.

Once off trail, the incline shot up, and thanks to Sarah for having patience with me as I slowly made it up the granite face. We finally spotted water at Ridge Lake and, exhausted, pitched our tent on the water’s edge. Til it was remembered that we can’t camp that close to a lake. So we broke down the setup and moved to a mosquito infested spot a little further away. We indulged in freeze dried salmon pasta and (a real treat) red wine.

The sunset was beautiful. I fished for a while…until I realized that…there are no fish in the lake. Or so it appeared.

The next morning we hiked out and quickly saw another two lakes. Iceland Lake was gorgeous! It was definitely the place to be. We picked a prime camping spot and relaxed and hiked around the area for the day. We were surprised that we went nearly all day without seeing any other people. For the 4th of July weekend it was empty in the wilderness. I took a chilling jump into the lake and we had our share of pumping drinking water. It was so relaxing and you couldn’t beat the view! We hiked the nearby crest and could see the neighboring lakes and Granite Dome. We cooked dinner by the lake, sipped our wine and jumped in the tent when the mosquitoes became unbearable.

In the morning we started to make our way back down a different way we came up, making a loop back down to the reservoir. The slope started out smooth but quickly the slope became too aggressive and we back tracked a bit and side-winded our way down til we encountered the river. We sprinted through the meadow, which was filled with swarms of ravenous mosquitos. After a few hours we connected with the trail. The tiredness was quieted by the serene surroundings.

The sun started to make things really toasty, we got back to the car just in time. I was so wiped! I’m so thankful to have been able to go backpacking. It’s good to get away and clear our heads. It gives us time to connect with ourselves and put things in perspective.

Even better, once we were within cell phone reception again, we found out one of our best friends had gotten engaged! What an exciting weekend.

Also, big shout out to my dad who was so sweet and picked up turkey sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies to nourish Sarah and I when we stopped by on our drive back to Los Angeles. Also the shower so we could drive home clean!



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