Last Dip of Summer

Trips, Weekends

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir drinking beers

Utica Round Two – Chill Hard and Car Camp
We drove and we drove, down dirt roads until they got too gnarly, around in circles trying to find the spot that suited us, stopping, getting out, looking around, getting back in, and moving on.  We eventually found the spot we needed, threw our gear out, set up the hammock, stripped down and jumped in; while it was still swimmable, it was cold, we could tell that the dog days were gone and they were taking summer with them.
We cracked beers and cracked jokes, lazing about on the rock rim of the Utica Reservoir (no boats this time), and when the sun started to fall, retreated to the insulated camp we had set up, protected from the cool breeze by a stand of trees and some boulders.  Dinner was prepared, sweaters were donned, and we scarfed on camp fajita’s as the sun dipped into the water saying goodbye to summer.
As night came on and the fire gave us some warmth, we talked of how we hadn’t done enough this summer. We hadn’t gotten out enough, were too busy with work, with obligation, responsibility, and everything else, kicking ourselves in the ass as we watched our prime season slip from our grasp.

 

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir lantern

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir fishing

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir lake reflections 2

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir hammock

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir vegetables

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir vegetable prep

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir campchef

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir campchef grilled peppers

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir buddies

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir sweater

Cramped Up Utica Reservoir super moon

Photos in this post taken on Canon Rebel SL-1
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Take the Leap, See it Through

Trips, Weekends
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Emigrant Wilderness – Out and Back – Kennedy Meadows to Kennedy Lake
16 miles Total
Saturday – 7 miles in and creek side camp
Sunday Morning – A soggy mile out and back to Kennedy Lake
Sunday Afternoon – 7 miles out
The Emigrant Wilderness’s namesake stems from several groups of Emigrants (folks leaving one area to reside in another) that passed through this wilderness but eventually its use as a route was abandoned as the pass was too difficult and there were safer options.  As we hike through fall fields walled in by sweeping granite mountainsides and side step small creeks meandering through the vibrant autumnal yellows, we can reflect on the people that made those difficult and dangerous treks through unknown lands and what that must have felt like.
    The idea of leaving one’s home for another strange distant land, whether in search of wealth, opportunity, or community is baffling yet was and is commonplace.  The essence of the unknown is a terrifying and at the same time enticing or exciting enterprise and so the mix of emotions that these people would have felt is mind boggling, and yet they did it; scared, unsure, nervous, and excited, they made it work and took that leap to the unknown.  Their influence still holds true as there are numbers of us daily (young, motivated, inexperienced, and scared) making the decision to take the leap and see it through.
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More photos after the jump.

To Last Through the Ages

Trips

 

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Climbing up the 10,856′ Mt. Hoffman, it’s hard not to reflect on those who made it possible for us to enjoy it now.  John Muir first ascended Hoffman on July 26, 1869 nearly 150 years before us; it’s incredible to think that after the century and then some that has gone by, that what we experience can still be so similar when everything else in the world is so drastically different.
In May of 1903, John Muir and then President, Theodore Roosevelt met in the Yosemite; they rode, hiked, ate, slept, appreciated, and pontificated under the magnificent blanket of the unimpeded starry Sierra night sky.  It’s common to say that Muir gave Roosevelt a mission on this visit, a mission with which our President was familiar, but a mission at that; one of conservation.
On his journey back to Washington, President Roosevelt made a speech in Sacramento, he ended with this, “We are not building this country for a day. It is to last through the ages.”

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