I apologize for the delay in getting this trip report posted.
Tyler and I finished our trip last month and it was an absolutely perfect adventure!
Let me start by giving my sincere thanks to those on this board that offered advice and suggestions and incredibly generous gear donations to help make this trip possible. I can't thank you enough and you played a large part in helping this trip become a reality.
For those that aren't familiar with our trip you can read a bit more about it here.
This is a pic that helps remind me of where Tyler has been and why this trip was so important to us.
* My camera got a little off on the dates and times that are stamped on the pics...not sure what happened.
We planned on a fairly loose itinerary in the Emigrant Wilderness, starting at the Crabtree Trailhead. We decided we'd be out at least 1 night and packed for as many as 3 nights, figuring we'd see how Tyler felt as we went along. This was his first backpacking trip and his first time at altitude since his brain surgery (his doctor gave us the ok). The weather report predicted clear skies, low 70's in the day and 30's at night. They were right on and it was perfect. Not a cloud the entire trip and cool enough for fleece and a campfire at night.
We picked up our permit at the ranger station on Monday Aug 12th and got to the trailhead a little before 2pm. After some final packing and pack fiddling we got on the trail just before 2:30p.
The first mile or so went fast. We passed 2 horse trains coming down and knew immediately why the trail was so dusty. We started the climb and we're passed by a dozen or so dayhikers heading back to the parking lot. We saw no one heading up with us. We didn't realize until we were on our way back how steep and long the fist couple miles of this trail are. Tyler handled them like a champ though. .
Smiling through the dust
We made Camp Lake in about 2 hours.
It was beautiful! I'd seen pics but they didn't do it justice.
We dropped our packs and scouted for a good camp spot. I'd been worried that the trail would be very busy and this lake would be particularly busy at this time of the summer, but we had it to ourselves. I was also worried that the mosquitoes would still be an issue, but we didn't seen a single one (until the trip back next to a swampy spot...only about 100 yards and a few bites). We found a great spot and set up camp. Tyler worked on his bear bag handing skills, we filtered water with our Sawyer Squeeze, gathered wood, made a fire and some dinner.
We turned in about 9p and slept pretty well. It was just cold enough to justify 30 degree bags and dry enough to leave the fly off the tent so we could see the stars.
I woke up about 6a Tuesday and left Tyler sleeping. Got a good fire going and enjoyed the silence. We were both surprised at how quiet it was. A few bird chirps in the evening and morning, but not a single cricket, frog or bear growl.
We had a great bfast, filtered more water and packed up for the trip to Bear Lake where we planned to spend to spend the day exploring.
We reached Bear Lake mid morning and found a great spot overlooking the lake. There was 1 group of 4 and a few dayhikers when we arrived but by mid afternoon we had the entire lake to ourselves. We dropped our packs and went for a walk around the lake. Again...more beautiful than I expected. The weather was again perfect.
After a couple hours of exploring we setup camp and had lunch. Had a fun visit from some local wildlife, hung our bag and just enjoyed the peace and the scenery.
We had visit from a ranger at about 8pm. She was checking on permits and said that she had been out for 9 days. She looked like she'd brought dust from every one of those days with her. She was very nice, very dirty and I very much envied her job!
We had another fire, watched the stars come out and slept well.
Tyler and I had already decided that we would hike out Wednesday so spent Wednesday morning leisurely packing, having breakfast and filtering water for the journey out. The hike out took us a few hours and had us back to the car by about noon. Along the way we ran into a very small stretch of mosquitoes and Tyler got a few bites (wonder how they like chemo/radiation blood!) but was otherwise pretty uneventful. We had a great conversation about the perfect breed of hiking dog. The dust on way back was thick and the last downhill was waaay steeper than we remembered and the final bridge before the parking lot was a welcome sight. Overall we did about 13 miles. Less than 2 years ago Tyler was in a wheelchair and had to use a walker to get around without falling. 2 years ago he could hardly walk at all from spending so much time in hospital beds and from the surgery/chemo and radiation. It's really an amazing turnaround from where he's been to where we are today. I could not be more proud of his strength and his spirit and his ability to be at the very bottom physically and emotionally and smile through all of it. I am so glad I had the opportunity to spend these 3 days with him and was reminded of how life can change on a dime. You think you have all the time in the world and "maybe next weekend" turns in to next summer or next year. Don't put off these types of experiences. Live like you're dying...cuz as it turns out...you never know when you might be.
Thanks again to the guys on this board that contributed to this hike!
Bryan and Tyler<img src="/backpackinglight/user_uploads/1379965502_89634.jpg" alt="Sunrise part 2" width="550" height="413">