Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beryl Lake Hike

The Stats:
3 miles roundtrip
38 songs played on the iPod
Goal Met - Hiking with no trail
Elevation of 8,750 feet
Temperature Low 20s/High 50s

For Father’s Day weekend we took my dad backpacking. I was able to convince Brandon to join us with the plea of “The perfect Father’s Day for dad would include his two kids and doing his favorite activity.” We went up to Tamarack, which is just above Shaver Lake, where there are a gazillion 4 wheeling trails. We drove into Brewer Lake and parked the jeep. There was no real trail into the lake we were headed to. A coworker of my Dad’s, Freddie, had recommended this lake because it is his favorite fishing hole. So we clambered out of the car and put on our packs, took our little map and began to blaze our own trail. Mocha tried to be in the lead and kept getting lost, she is a trail dog but it is a little hard on her when there is no actual trail. We knew we needed to follow along this ridge past 2 lakes and then we were supposed to be looking for a fisherman’s trail. We got almost to Beryl Lake before we started spotting cairns. When we got the lake my dad and dumped our packs and decided to hike a little further because according to the map we were really close to Coyote Lake, which we had been to once before by 4 wheel. The hike to get there was going up a ridge and over, once again there was no trail. When we got to the top of the ridge, which was practically straight up a hill side, probably 250 foot vertical in 400 feet, it was freezing and windy so we decided to turn around and head back to the fire. We set up camp and hung around the fire the rest of the afternoon. We tried out some backpacking food for dinner in order to test stuff out for our Grand Canyon of Tuolumne trip in a couple of weeks. We had Mountain House Beef Stroganoff. The temperature kept dropping as the day wore on, Brandon went to bed early just so he could get into his sleeping bag and warm up. Then as soon as the sun went down, my dad and I grabbed the lantern and some cards and crawled into our bags to keep warm and played Phase 10. That night I woke up shivering uncontrollably because the temperature dropped really low, our best guess is that it was in the 20s as my sleeping bag is a 15 degree bag. Needless to say none of us got a great night of sleep.
The next morning Brandon and I didn’t roll out of our sleeping bags until 9am when it was a little warmer outside. We tried Mountain House Scrambled Eggs and Bacon for breakfast and it was horrible. So we made some pancakes and my dad had caught a fish so he and Brandon ate that too. Then we packed up and heading back to the jeep. This time though we followed the cairns all the way back. It was a follow-able trail in the sense that once we got to one cairn we looked for the next and so on and so forth until we got back, but better than the trail blazing through brush that we had done to get there. We had to cross the river at one point and I chose a bad path and ended up getting up to my knees in water. But luckily by then we were almost back to the jeep where I could change into flip flops and jeans.
We stopped at our usually place, the Burger Hut in Shaver to eat a late lunch as we were all really hungry. It was a really cold windy drive back into Fresno and when I got home, despite the fact it was 85 degrees outside I took a really hot shower and crawled under all my covers and vegged for a few hours. Then we went to my parent’s house for dinner to celebrate Father’s Day. After all of that it was to bed early that night and a great night of sleep all warm in my bed.

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