Emigrant Wilderness, August 2001

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This was our first trip, and as such it was characterized by unpreparedness. We packed way too much stuff, tried to hike way too far, and had one major equipment problem.  Slideshow.

Day 1: Kennedy Meadows to Kennedy Lake

We started off early in the morning from Kennedy Meadows and hiked up the valley to Kennedy Lake. It was a beautiful hike and we enjoyed it very much. It was rather long, though, and we were quite tired when we arrived at the far end of the lake. A swim revived us, however.

Day 2: Kennedy Lake to Red Bug Lake

This was the Death March. The hike started off climbing cross-country from Kennedy Lake to the PCT about 1500' above us. The climb was very steep and over loose dirt. We then followed the PCT to the top of Big Sam, a climb of another 1000' or so. Looking back down over the Kennedy valley, I took this panorama, which I also made into a round. We were dead tired by the time we got to the top of Big Sam, but the view was fabulous.

At this point, Alex began complaining that his boots didn't feel right. A quick look confirmed they were falling apart: the soles were seperating from the uppers. Hmmmm.

After resting, we came down the other side of Big Sam to Red Bug Lake. We'd planned to go on to Snow Lake at this point, but were both so tired we decided to camp here instead. It rained lightly as soon as the tent was set up, but then cleared up. Red Bug Lake is small and pretty, surrounded by grass, and full of red bugs. It's still good for swimming, though. These are two pictures of Red Bug Lake.

I slept very poorly that night, and we were generally discouraged.

Day 3: Day Hike Through Emigrant Meadow

Because Alex's boots were on their way out, we decided to do a day hike in our Tevas. We headed down the hill to Emigrant Meadow Lake, then scrambled down the rocks of the creek to Middle Emigrant Lake. This was lots of fun and did much to cheer us up.

From Middle Emigrant Lake, we headed cross-country up to a nameless peak above Blackbird Lake. After a nice lunch, we climbed back down to the trail and up to Red Bug Lake. On our way back through Emigrant Meadow, I took a full 360 panorama which I turned into the unusual collage at left. Notice that it's rotationally symmetric around two different points, from which you can see the trail heading off in both directions.

That afternoon, I was again feeling terrible. I wasn't hungry, I was tired, and I was having trouble thinking clearly. Suddnely, it dawned on us: altitude sickness! Alex gave me some anti-inflamitories and I took a nap. When I woke up, I was bright-eyed and happy.

Day 4: Red Bug Lake to Summit Creek

By now, were were comletely off of our intended route and schedule, and with Alex's boots being what they were, we decided to do a short day and head over Brown Bear Pass to a compsite along Summit Creek. This was a very easy, short hike, and we arrived before lunch. We spent the rest of the day exploring the rocks around the creek and swimming.

The swimming at this campsite was particularly nice. The creek passed through some very narrow slots in the rock and cascaded down into beautiful granite pools. We spent hours climbing, dipping, and sitting.

Day 5: Day Hike to Granite Dome

We took day hike again to minimize the strain on Alex's boots. The hike started by climbing straight up the hill to Lower Lewis Lake, which wasn't much to look at. Some of the formations of the creek as it flowed down the hill were quite nice, though.

From there we climbed to Middle Lewis Lake, which has to be one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen. We spent quite a while here, diving into the lake from the rock outcroppings. There appeared to be only one campsite at this lake, but it sure would be a nice place to stay.

We climbed further to Upper Lewis Lake and Sardella Lake before continuing to the top of Granite Dome. The view from Granite Dome was stunning in all directions. It was rather windy, though, so we spent some time huddled in the strange erosion depressions up there.

After lunch, we came back down passed Ridge Lake and Iceland Lake. From there we headed back down across a beautifully smooth granite bowl to the trail and back up to the campsite.

Day 6: Summit Creek to Kennedy Meadows

At this point we'd run out of things to do without hiking boots and I was very homesick. We hiked back out to Kennedy Meadows a day early and went home.

Last modified: Tue Sep 16 12:32:09 2003