Thursday, October 15, 2009

2009 Sierra Trip, Day Two

2009 Sierra Trip
Ansel Adams Wilderness

Day Two: Thursday, 9/10/09

From Camp to Lake Ediza
~1.5 mi
8670' to ~9300' elevation

I believe I have finally achieved the right combination of sleepwear and gear, as I was com-FY! My base layer is actually comprised of two layers, including one of Ultrawear (developed for the astronaut program). The ThermaRest Z-Lite and Big Agnes pads insulated me from and kept me off the ground, no matter to which position I turned. The down pillow rolled perfectly to support my neck or head, whichever way I needed, as I slept. And that Phantom 15 was TOASTY warm!

I always tell my body to wake up so I can catch the sunrise, and it didn't let me down this time. I woke up to see the sun hitting the Minarets and starting to illuminate the valley. I snapped a few pictures and then laid back down. And was so comfy, I went back to sleep for awhile!

Finally DH got up and started boiling water for breakfast. We ate cinnamon oatmeal and drank hot chocolate in silence, listening to the sounds of morning. We watched the sunbeams hitting more and more of the meadow until the sun itself crested the rocks and struck my brother's tent. No way he could sleep through that! Soon he, too, was boiling water and fixing scrambled eggs and bacon.

With a only a short hike ahead of us before we would spend the rest of the day fishing and lounging around Ediza Lake, our pace this morning was once again leisurely. We broke camp and hit the trail at ~8:30 a.m.

Sunrise on the Minarets.

Breaking camp.

Hitting the trail to Lake Ediza.
The river is to my left; the trail is heading to meet it.

We started out walking in patches of deep shade waiting to be chased away by the still-climbing sun, but it wasn't long before we had to stop so I could peel my base layers off. And we actually saw people, traveling from Lake Ediza toward the PCT junction. They told us it wasn't "much further---less than an hour." 'Course, they were coming DOWN; we still had to climb UP!

Still water means level land!

Looking back.

Admiring more falls... before we start climbing up!

Soon after we started climbing up higher, we were stopping for me to peel off my sweatshirt, too. We were warming up quickly as the day settled in! My brother seems to have adapted to the higher altitude now; he is often in front of us now and rarely stopping, unlike yesterday. We are already at altitudes a couple thousand feet higher than anything east of the Mississippi River.

To be continued...

We were obviously close; we began our climb up the rock "wall" that dams one end of the lake. Soon we came to a fallen tree cut to make a bridge across the river rushing down from Lake Ediza. If the water weren't cold, it'd make an awesome jacuzzi!

The natural rock wall the helps create the lake above us.

My brother crosses the log-bridge first.

View from the log-bridge.

The moon above the river and distant Mt. Ritter.

We climbed up and rounded a bend and suddenly, there was the lake -- our first view of it as we passed the funneling end where the river down begins.

Our first glimpse of Lake Ediza.

My brother admires the sight while waiting for us to catch up.

Crystal clear High Sierra water --- mmm!

Sierra Backpack post

Trail report and pictures from the first day of our Sierra 2009 backpack are here:


It might be awhile before the next one gets posted; I have tons of pictures to sort through!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Latest News

Random notes:

I took pictures from our backpack in to show my various doctors and nurses. My cardiologist is convinced now that there is NOTHING wrong with my heart, 'cause he says I could NEVER have done what I did if there were any issues! But now he can't figure out what caused the effusion this past Spring; it definitely was NOT metastasis to the pericardium! (I told him God is protecting me.)

Tonight I am doing some sort of breathing test for the pulmonologist. I am still troubled with a nagging dry cough each night and morning, especially when I'm first awakening. I've decided to ditch ALL the cardiac drugs until these lungs are restored fully and I no longer cough.

I haven't had much heart to work on the Sierra trip report lately; a dear friend of ours tragically passed away from H1N1 and so I've been grieving. But I feel like working on it more again, so look for it to be up soon.

Well, fires are burning what hasn't already been burnt in our "backyard." Wonder if they'll be any pockets left next Spring to go shoot pictures? At least I'm not getting the smoke as badly, especially since we are able to keep the house closed up.

Cooler temperatures are here, so hot springs trips are in order! I have two different trips in mind; anyone want to go? Let me know!