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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
scrambling
trail flower
lake shot
soak
mas y t
kitchen
dinner
begging
lounging
lakeside
stilts
above
sierra crest
hiking home
prowling
curious
listen
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!

insta

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: Fingers Crossed

Rambler: BethDrink at Hand: Scheid Reserve Chardonnay (Tied for 1st on my chard list)

Hey Welliver Photography fans! Welcome to another addition of Thirsty Thursday...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. We are headed off to backpack this weekend, or so we hope!

snowy start
terry evaluates
trees

Over Memorial Day weekend we headed up to backpack to George Lake in the Kaiser Wilderness. The in-house meteorologist blew the weekend forecast, and long story short, without a four-season tent, we were snowed out of our first backpacking trip of the season. So much for the unofficial start of summer! So this weekend we'll try again, and hopefully the trail doesn't look like this... But we definitely can't say it wasn't beautiful, even if we didn't camp in it. Get out there and doing something this weekend...and hope you get a good weather report before you go!

Massey Monday: Wilderness Dog

I was cleaning up some photo projects from earlier this year and stumbled across a couple of Massey from our backpacking trip in the Kaiser Wilderness. She doesn't get off easy on these trips just because she's a dog...she has to carry her own weight!

Can't wait to get back out there in the backcountry again next summer. Maybe we'll drag Terry along next time.

Thirsty Thursday: George Lake

Rambler: Beth Drink at Hand: Ginger Ale (its my go-to airplane drink, don't know why!)

Howdy folks, time for another Thirsty Thursday, so pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. As you might have guessed from my "howdy folks" and airplane drink, I've been in Texas all week at a little weather nerd conference. Not going to lie, I am a weather nerd, so I was right at home. But just like Terry's post last week, there's something about being cooped up inside that makes you want to be way-the-heck outside. So this week, we'll review my little backpacking trip way out into the Kaiser Wilderness.

As you might remember from this post, Massey and I went for a little backpacking trip in the Kaiser Wilderness, with George Lake as our planned final destination. I picked Kaiser because it was on the west side of the Sierra Crest (hence a short drive) and I wanted a short-ish hike since we were going in Saturday and coming out Sunday. We picked up our wilderness permit in Huntington Lake at 8 am when the ranger station opened and headed straight to the trailhead...where it promptly started spitting rain. Grrr. I kept getting the backpack cinched up and ready to go while passing showers scooted overhead. A dilema...do I go or do I bail? I really didn't want to hike 5 miles in the rain with a 45-lb pack on my back, but I also didn't want to give up potentially the last backpacking weekend of the year. Plus I had a brand new backpack that I was dying to use. So we went.

Massey loved the trail and her little backpack, too. We strolled along, dark clouds shadowing behind us, but bright blue skies ahead. My fingers were crossed. Massey chased pikas and I sucked in the scents of juniper and sun-warmed pine. Heaven. We topped out at Potter Pass and thunder started cracking as the wind picked up. I was nervous. But fortunately we dropped down the other side of the pass while the storm headed a different direction. On to the beautiful Lower Twin Lake, where I was surprised to see wildflowers still blooming. We quickly passed Upper Twin Lake and I noticed dark clouds coming again. The trail scrambles up a granite boulder field...one mile to go to George Lake. It was a tough mile--lots of elevation gain--further stressed by the approaching storm. I found the first suitable camping site near the lake and tore into the backpack to dig out the tent pieces. I've never pitched a tent so fast! I threw the dog and my pack in the door and zipped the rainfly just as the first huge drops hit. All five of them. Maybe it was six. We sat out a pretty wicked lightning storm but we dodged the rain.

The rest of the weekend we had beautiful weather to enjoy the beauty of the place. The upper alpine lakes of the Sierra are so beautiful. Rocky, clear, pristine. Massey also enjoyed the water, jumping in every time possible. She didn't seem to mind that she was ruining the perfect mirrored reflections by rippling the surface of the water, so I had to act fast. We had a great time and can't wait to get back out into the woods again. Hopefully with Terry next time. Enjoy a few images from the weekend.

Its getting a little late in the season for backpacking, but if you want to head out to the Kaiser Wilderness next summer (or with a very warm sleeping bag), head east from Fresno toward Shaver Lake. Keeping going up the climbing mountain road to Huntington Lake. Here you'll find the ranger station where you can pick up a wilderness pass for the outing. Make sure you have your bear can...I didn't see any bears, but I saw signs of them.