Thirsty Thursday: Wildflower in Big Sur

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: Trader Joe's Pomegranate Limeade 

Looks like we missed Thirsty Thursday last week while we were busy celebrating our anniversary, and I'm squeaking this one out just while it is still Thursday on the west coast! 

I have many photos and a few words to go with my bikepacking overnight in Big Sur a few weeks back. But, I got distracted by a tennis match tonight (happens every year in mid-March), and didn't get all those pixels edited nor any of the words written. Hopefully next week! 

In the mean time, here is an image from that trip. I literally sat my camera attached to the Joby tripod right outside my tent door and snapped this image with my legs still in my sleeping bag. I'm not sure if it was complete laziness or shear genius of campsite selection, but I'll take it! 

Looking forward to another bikepacking trip in Big Sur soon!

Thirsty Thursday: Big Sur Bikepacking

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: Trader Joe's Pomegranate Limeade

Thirsty Thursday here again...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. I just got back from a little overnight solo bikepacking trip to Big Sur. I haven't had much time to go through the images yet from this trip, or from my #desertpixelpedaltrip that just wrapped up, but I pulled these two images from the Big Sur trip as a teaser. I'll write more about and share more photos from this trip very soon!

Here was a camping spot for the night off Plaskett Ridge Road in the Los Padres National Forest. That's Chalk Peak in the background. 

Then I decided to wake up at 3:00 am and capture the stars. 

I'm looking forward to more nights under the stars in Big Sur. Get out there and find your own starry night this weekend!

Thirsty Thursday: Not Too Shabby

Rambler: BethDrink at Hand: 2004 Parrot Ranch Cab Sav

Welcome back for another edition of Thirsty Thursday...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. Last weekend was a pretty good one here at Welliver Photography, mainly because we weren't so much "here" as we were "out there" -- the best way to spend a long holiday weekend!

Saturday morning we parked Ellie near Saddlebag Lake and the three of us headed out into the Twenty Lakes Basin in the Hoover Wilderness. The hike to our camping spot was pretty quick and easy, leaving us most of 3 days to explore the endless alpine lakes in this High Sierra basin. Beautiful, glacier-fed lakes nestled beneath 12,000 peaks.

Shamrock Lake
T and Lake
Conness Lake

Exploring Shamrock Lake. The middle of the glacier-fed Conness Lakes, roughly 11,000' up. There was one more up above this lake! Requisite glowing tent photo (forgive me, its my first one!). North Peak in the background.

Roughly 3 days and 27 miles later, we had sufficiently explored Twenty Lakes Basin and give it two thumbs up. Over the top beautiful, though I think the 10,000' altitude certainly wore us out by the end!

If you want to visit the Twenty Lakes Basin yourself (and you should!), you can find the trailhead at Saddlebag Lake, 2 miles north of Highway 120 / Tioga Pass (the dirt road to Saddlebag Lake roughly 4 miles from the east gate to Yosemite National Park). There is a shuttle boat that will take you across Saddlebag Lake and drop you very close to the first of many lakes in the basin without having to do more than a half mile of hiking. Get out there and check it out!

Thirsty Thursday: Desolation Wilderness Trip

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: Ancient Peaks Rose

Hey Welliver Photography fans! Thanks for tuning in for another Thirsty Thursday...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. This week I'll give you a little recap of our recent backpacking trip to Waca Lake and Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness.

Desolation Wilderness is in the Lake Tahoe area and is one of the most heavily visited wilderness areas in the country. Therefore, getting a wilderness permit for this area is a challenge. We wanted to go to Lake Aloha, but that's super easy trek destination, so the permits were sold out for that zone. I figured, hey, the Team Welliver is a hardy bunch, so the three of us could handle a little cross-country travel to a zone that still had overnight permits available. After much topo map studying, I was sure that a roughly 2-mile off-trail, cross-country over a saddle point that was only 1 contour interval on the map to a beautiful alpine lake would be easy peasy lemon squeezy for us. So on a warm Friday afternoon we left the Echo Lake parking lot for Waca Lake.

waca lake
tent camp
lake aloha sunrise

What's that? You've never heard of Waca Lake? Yeah, turns out most people haven't. Why is that? Because its ridiculously difficult to get there. The first 6 miles of the trail (yes, trail) were easy, straightforward, no big deal. Then we left the trail to begin our 2 miles of exhausting scrambling up and down granite boulders with our packs on. Not as easy as it looked on the topo map. But we made it and the lake was pretty and we collapsed into our tent. The next morning had a nicely colored, albeit cloudless, sky. One of these trips we'll get some clouds! We decided to pack up camp and head back toward Lake Aloha in order to cut off a little bit of distance and pain for hike back to the car on day 3. We originally planned to spend most of Day 2 exploring the numerous lakes and playing around with a little bouldering. Unfortunately, little Miss Massey and her delicate little paws had a rough time on the abrasive granite on Day 1, so once we made it back to Lake Aloha for Day 2, we took it easy. Terry didn't seem to mind either. The final sunrise at Lake Aloha wasn't too bad either. Get out there and find your own backcountry adventure this weekend!

Massey Monday: Happy Camper

camper massey

Massey is one heck of an awesome backpacking buddy. Our last trip to the Sierra was a little harsh on her poor little puppy pads, but she didn't complain! She just spent a lot more time resting in camp with us rather than chasing all of the pesky chipmunks, pikas, and marmots from our campsite.

Thirsty Thursday: George Lake Trip

Rambler: Beth
Drink at Hand: Jekel Pinot Noir

Thirsty Thursday here again...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. We headed up to the mountains a few weekends ago for a backpacking trip to George Lake in the Kaiser Wilderness. You may remember this as the intended destination of our snowed-out Memorial Day weekend trip.

The weather was gorgeous, bordering on hot for 8500' elevation. We didn't realize that all of the mosquitos in Sierra were also holding a reunion at George Lake the same weekend. Obscene! But we haven't contracted West Nile or malaria just yet, so I guess we survived. All in all, a fun weekend.

water crossing
on trail
mountain meadow
nap time
college lake
trail flower
lake shot
mas y t
sierra crest
hiking home
george lake
sierra sunset

On the trail... Exploring around the lake. Sometimes its tiring. We did a little off-trail cross-country exploring and found a couple more lakes up higher. I think this was College Lake. Back at George Lake it was time to cool off, if only we'd had swimwear. Time for dinner. Then some waiting for the evening light to get nice. Then it was time for bed and a hike out in the morning. Terry loaned me these two images for tonight's post. Pretty nice!

We've got another backpack trip planned in a few weeks, so more mountain fun ahead for us! Yay! Love summer weekends spent in the high country. Get out there and discover a little high country yourself in the coming weeks!

Thirsty Thursday: Instagrams from the Trail

Rambler: Beth
Drink at Hand: 2007 Alfaro Vineyards Pinot Noir

Thirsty Thursday here again...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. Last weekend Terry and I (and Massey of course!) headed up to the Kaiser Wilderness for a couple of days in the woods. It was pretty warm for the 8500' up in the mountains, incredibly buggy, and absolutely beautiful!


Its always nice to get away from the cubicle and computer and phone and just enjoy the sunlight...and maybe a dip in a refreshingly chilly alpine lake. Even though the iPhones didn't get service (yay!), the camera still worked for Instagrams! As you can see in those last few frames, Massey was wrecked on the drive home. Always a telltale sign of a pretty sweet weekend!

Get out there and get lost in something this weekend!

Thirsty Thursday: Eastern Sierra

Rambler: Beth Drink at Hand: Marilyn Remark 2009 Rose de Saignee...if you haven't had a Marilyn Remark wine yet, you owe it to yourself to try one if you can find it. Joel and Marilyn make some fantastic wines...and if you can splurge for the Grenache, do it! Or come visit us and we'll take you to the tasting room just around the corner from us.

Now that I got the free plug for the local winery out of the way, its time to get down to business. Another Thursday here, another night to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. I haven't gotten to write a TT for a couple of weeks, but now that all my bike racing is out of the way for awhile, I have a little more time to write bloggies and a lot more time for weekend adventures of the non-pedal-powered variety.

This weekend Welliver Photography is headed to the Eastern Sierra! I've been there a few times but Terry's only been there for a few hours...miserable and expensive hours at that. The plan for the weekend is "there is no plan!" We got a cabana for the Honda Element so we can throw down the therm-a-rests and sleeping bags and cuddle up with Massey in the back of the car to sleep. We'll drive around searching for good stuff during the day. Should be fun.

I remember my first time in the Sierra. I headed out of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite for 4 days of solo backpacking. Having grown up with family vacations to Colorado followed by 5 years of living in Colorado Springs, I've always had a thing for the Rockies. But that first time I went to the Sierra blew me away. After those 4 days, I was hooked. The mountains are gorgeous, the alpenglow and twilight colors are phenomenal, the clouds are fantastic. I fully embrace any opportunity I can to get there, and I can't wait to share some sights with T.

Like I said, there is no plan. I pulled a few of my favorites from my visit there last fall. So many things we could check out this weekend...Bodie, Mono Lake, the June Lake Loop, Buttermilk Valley, Bristlecone Pines, Owens Valley, Alabama Hills, countless sub-alpine lakes, canyons, aspen stands...the choices are endless. I think we'll be tired on Monday evening!