This is not your typical trip report but more of a feel good moment brought about by two backpacking trips 33 years apart.
I met my wife(Tina) 33 years ago and I guess you would say our first real date was a backpack trip out of Mineral King (Timber Gap, 5 Lakes Basin, and Sawtooth Pass loop). At the time (1980) Tina was 105 pounds soaking wet and carried about a 30 pound pack. Our gear was typical of the day: Levi's, cotton flannel shirts and socks, duck and goose puffies, Gregory Rockcreek and Kelty packs,Redwings hightop vibram boots, Gerry pump tent,Svea 123 stove,aluminum pot with bail handle and Eddie Bauer and Northface bags.Food was Lipton beef stoganoff dinners, soups, cheese, salami, pasta, oatmeal, poptarts, and Wylers lemonade mix.On our way in at 4:00 in the morning we filled our wide mouth poly bottles from a pipe spring in the side of the mountain. After carefully boiling our water for four days we stopped at the same spring on our way out a noticed a sign hidden to the side stating water not fit for human consumption (no Giardia appeared). I recall the Mineral Lodge/Store was a hopping place with fine food and live music and an outdoor dance floor.
Mineral King Pics:
Flash forward 33 years to the the Siskiyou Wilderness. I have continued my backpack trips solo with some lean years but Tina and I have not backpacked together. Like many couples our lives focused on careers, raising children, camping trips, putting kids through college, care giving to elder parents, and dealing with personal health problems. Well needless to say, we have made it through those "life responsibilities" and now we come full circle to reunite for a second backpacking date. Thanks to the BPL community our total pack weights for a 3 day trip came in at 15 (Tina) and 20 (Hoot) pounds. The Siskiyou Wilderness area is in our own backyard so we chose this as our date site. I cannot express the bliss of our trip. It was not without issues however, as my Sawyer Squeeze failed (maybe from not rinsing before cleaning with bleach), but I had Aqua Mira drops as back up. Tina faced a bout with heat exhaustion but made it through with will and determination. We are already planning a trip to Sister's Wilderness and beyond.
Siskiyou Wilderness Pics: