Backpacking California

weekend-brunch

I woke up on a crisp cool morning next to my best friend inside our tent. It was our last day car camping and we began to break camp for our backcountry adventure. It also happened to be my 26th birthday, talk about an awesome place to wake up a year older. One of the best parts of having a summer birthday is getting to spend it some pretty special places. This definitely topped the list.

 

We drove down a winding dirt road to a tiny campground parking lot. We unloaded the car and got our packs on. After the previous days hike I was excited for a shorter hike. The hike was pretty straight forward, only a little elevation gain…but you know me and elevation gain! I could seriously win an award for worst uphill hiker.

 We planned to camp at Green Lake. The craziest part of the day came right before the end of our hike. We reached snow!! Remember snow had already changed our entire trip, but still this Florida girl was shocked to see it hiking in June. We almost couldn’t cross the river to get to our campsite because it was flowing so fast. We had to cross two logs…with our packs on…to make it to other side! Talk about an adventure!

The best part of camping in the backcountry is being so secluded. We had this side of the lake completely to ourselves. We set up camp and explored around our little area. We had a perfect view of the most pristine lake surrounded by mountains.

 My birthday dinner was rice, chicken and a little wine!! Totally worth the extra weight! It was absolutely freezing at night, we had a fire but that didn’t help much. I will never understand people who camp in the snow! TOO COLD! I was VERY thankful for my fleece and my vest! Eventually we crawled into our sleeping bags just to stay warm.

We woke up to a beautiful day and got mentally prepared for the tough hike ahead. We would be crossing the lake and climbing a mountain to get to another lake. The mental part of it was you could see the giant mountain right in front of you. I seriously considered just hanging out at camp while everyone else climbed the crazy mountain.

 

My dad convinced me otherwise. He promised to go at my pace. We would hike 20 minutes, then take a break. This patterned continued and I have to say it was some of my best hiking!

I am so glad I decided to go on the hike because it was amazing. At one point we were hiking straight up a rock pile in the snow! The snow got so deep we were unable to finish the hike. We really only had a mile to go to reach the lake! Don and Ryan tried to venture a little further but decided it was unsafe. 

It didn’t matter to me, we had an INCREDIBLE view from where we stopped. Plus hiking in the snow gave me a major adrenaline boost. I felt like I was on top of the world!!! We made our way back down to camp and half the group hiked a little farther. Mom, Matt and I returned to camp exhausted!

I absolutely LOVED our campsite. We had a giant rock (think the rock in the Lion King) that jutted out by the lake. We would lay and enjoy the sun to warm up! After a long day of hiking we enjoyed our last night at our perfect campsite. I woke up the next morning around 5:00 am to go to the bathroom, and was treated to the prettiest sight ever.

 The light was a soft yellow and bounced off the mountains and filled the air with a calming yellow. It was beautiful. Totally worth crawling out of my tent and into the cold!

Once everyone woke up we broke down camp and began our trek back to the car. For some reason it took FOREVER. I kept thinking we were there and then we would have a little farther to go. When we finally reached the car we broke into the Yeti and enjoyed and ICE cold beer!

 It tasted magical! Haha! We said our goodbyes to Don and packed into the car. We were heading to Lake Tahoe for a few days of relaxation!!

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