Saturday, September 19, 2009

Home From The Sierras

Sierra Backpack 2009
Ansel Adams Wilderness
"The Lakes Tour": Olaine, Shadow, Ediza, Iceberg, Cecile, and Minaret Lakes

We made it home Monday night, a day later than planned, after adventures in automotive issues. But being in public (and public restrooms) all that day took its toll; Tuesday morning I woke up with swollen lymph nodes and a 99.6 deg temperature. I took some acetaminophen before my weekly infusion and only ran one errand afterward. It's clearly no time to push.

Wednesday, I still felt a bit on the puny side, but was still doing my best to ignore whatever infection I might have picked up. I saw the oncologist; he was excited for my latest backpacking accomplishment as well as happy to tell me that
MY LEFT VENTRICLE EJECTION FRACTION HAS FINALLY RETURNED TO ITS BASELINE!! It has been stuck at 55% since February, but is now back to 60%. In addition, my saturated blood oxygen, stuck at 96% since the open heart surgery, is back to its baseline of 98%! THESE NUMBERS ARE A DIRECT ANSWER TO PRAYER!!!

By Thursday, I knew I was going to have to cancel my plans and give in a little to the infection my body is fighting. I ended up sleeping off and on, around the clock, till today.

The backpack itself was excellent, with one truly GONZO day of cross-country (it would've been nice to have had country to cross; we did nothing but boulder scramble and climb down a cliff). I didn't run out of camera battery till the last day, so I have hundreds of pictures to sort through. In the meanwhile, here's a few Panorama Stitches I did when I was stuck in bed Thursday that you can enjoy.

As usual, click on any picture to be immediately transported to Heaven on Earth --- er, I mean, to see the larger version!


I swear we speed-walked past Lake Olaine!

Shadow Lake as we begin losing daylight.

Our first good look at Lake Ediza. My brother on the left.
The Minarets, Mt. Ritter, and Mt. Banner in background (L to R).

Coming around Lake Ediza to camp. My brother at right.
The Minarets, Mt. Ritter, and Mt. Banner in background (L to R).

Sunset while fishing on Lake Ediza -- fresh native rainbow trout, baby!

Our first good look at Iceberg Lake.
DH pointing toward our route over the rocks by the snow and up the next pass.

The Minarets rising above Iceberg Lake.

Leaving Iceberg Lake. Check out the rock we've been climbing over to get here!
That's what is called a "use trail" or "footpath."

The beautiful, remote, alpine Cecile Lake.

Leaving Cecile Lake. All that boulder crawling! With packs!

Our first view of Minaret Lake. We still have to climb down the cliffs.

Heading around Minaret Lake.

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