Pikas and Marmots and Fish, Oh Yay!

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,240
Nearest City: Kyburz, CA
Trailhead: Twin Lakes TH, Desolation Wilderness
Destination: Smith Lake ~2.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 1750

New Gear for Miya:
Sleeping Bag - Sea to Summit Spark SP II 35F
Trekking Poles – Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork

Partners:
Bobbi (Day hiking)
Freckles

First Time Experiences:
Not being in the lead
Swimming in a lake on a backpacking trip
Seeing fish
Seeing a dead fish
Seeing pikas!!!!!
Seeing marmots
Not falling

This post will have a mix of photos from Bobbi and Freckles.

This was originally going to be a solo trip in July, but I ended up having very minor health annoyances that kept me home for the last 3 weeks / weekends. I had been eager to get back out there, so this short trip seemed like a good idea since I still wasn’t feeling 100%.

I drove to the TH after work and got there at 02:00. I enjoyed another night in the back of my Crosstrek (I decided to name her Trinity since her first trip into the wild was Trinity Alps Wilderness). Even with all the smoke from fires, the stars were shining and numerous!

We hit the trail at 07:00. We would be passing Grouse Lake, camping at Hemlock Lake, and hike to Smith Lake.

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I am introducing Freckles in this report. I had done a couple day hikes with him last year, but he complained SOOOO much that it took the fun out of hiking. I let him know he could come on this trip if he promised to not whine so much. This ended up being his first backpacking trip. How I continue to keep attracting people more noobish than me, I will never understand. Haha.

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I brought up the rear for this entire day. I was definitely feeling weak and worn within the first 500ft elevation gain. Was still happy to be there though, so we took lots of breaks for me and I pushed on.

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Trying to move this tree so Freckles could fit under it with his pack.

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Grouse Lake. Also, with a dead fish.

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What the heck happened here??

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I was worried about not getting one of the 3 designated campsites that you are SUPPOSED to stay at. If those are full, you are supposed to camp 500ft away from the lake. Luckily, we were the first ones there at about 10:30 and got to choose our ideal spot. We mashed our tents together, and called it a 'Fort' so we could play cards later. We dropped off our gear at Hemlock and continued our ascent to Smith.

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Smith Lake did not disappoint! We stayed there for a good hour and relaxed. I ate...like usual.

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Freckles fell in, hehe.

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Lookin' cool, I know.

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We headed back to camp. When we returned, a couple decided to camp in an undesignated campsite maybe 10-20 ft away from us (just on the other side of the rock). We got to enjoy the sounds of their coitus while trying to sleep. :facepalm:
For the remainder of the afternoon, I swam and took pictures. Bobbi took photos of fish and decided to get herself sunburnt again. She let me know she was back to refusing sunblock, even after what happened last time. (Apparently she regretted that decision again). We all had a nice afternoon with perfect weather, and Bobbi headed back around 15:00. I took a nap and was treated to active Pika's at sunset. I just wish I had had my Telephoto lens.

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Little cutie in my tent.

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Lovely sunset!

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I had found some dehydrated 'Devour' meals at the grocery store and thought I would give it a try. I love the frozen microwaveables, so why not? OOoooOOOOooOo, it was cheesy, bacony deliciousness! I forgot to take the picture @Shirt357, but my canister was STUFFED. I was so sure I had it down this time and was pretty surprised that it was so full. I will definitely take photos next time. I need advice. I can't even finish a full dehydrated meal, so I only bring a half serving with me. I definitely must be doing something wrong...maybe I bring too many snacks? I do tend to snack A LOT throughout the day.

I slept in till 08:30 the next morning! Freckles and I didn't make it my car till 11:30. The miles was straight down, but we took a lot of photos and took our time. He wouldn't listen to me about his tent and ended up taking 3 attempts to get it packed haha.

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Last edited:

TractorDoc

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Aug 21, 2018
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Great pictures and I enjoy your story telling. . . looks like a wonderful time!
 

Shirt357

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Jan 24, 2017
Messages
251
Next trip you go on @Miya lay out all your food you are putting in your bear canister and take a picture for me... may be able to see where all the space is going :frantic:. Before I moved to Colorado I had never used a vault before so it has taken some new methods but now I can easily get in plenty for a 4 day trip.

Great pics and trip report!
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,240
Next trip you go on @Miya lay out all your food you are putting in your bear canister and take a picture for me... may be able to see where all the space is going :frantic:. Before I moved to Colorado I had never used a vault before so it has taken some new methods but now I can easily get in plenty for a 4 day trip.

Great pics and trip report!

Will do! Next trip I am doing is a 3 nighter with Freckles so definitely won't be able to fit it all in there. Going to pick up a larger canister :)
 

Shirt357

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Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
251
Will do! Next trip I am doing is a 3 nighter with Freckles so definitely won't be able to fit it all in there. Going to pick up a larger canister :)

Which one do you have now?? Or are you picking up another one so you both can use the same one?
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,240
Which one do you have now?? Or are you picking up another one so you both can use the same one?

I have....Wild Ideas Blazer (which will probably be too big, supposed to be for 9 days).

The one I use most often is The Bare Boxer Contender.

I will probably pick up a Bear Vault for this weekend since this trip is impromptu and I don't have time to get a smaller Wild Ideas.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,240
Honestly, I had never heard of one until I joined this site! So getting to see one in person was so special! They are adorable, especially the noise they make! Haha, but if I had to listen to them all the time, it would get old fast.
I loved that everytime I saw one, it had food in it's mouth.
 
Joined
May 3, 2018
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Honestly, I had never heard of one until I joined this site! So getting to see one in person was so special! They are adorable, especially the noise they make! Haha, but if I had to listen to them all the time, it would get old fast.
I loved that everytime I saw one, it had food in it's mouth.

yeah my wife and I talk about it all the time when we see one, what it would be like to have one in a hamster cage in the house. It would be so loud and annoying but they're so fluffy.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,240
yeah my wife and I talk about it all the time when we see one, what it would be like to have one in a hamster cage in the house. It would be so loud and annoying but they're so fluffy.
You two should get a chinchilla! So cute and fluffy, and when they take an ash barh, it is the funniest thing! I don't recall them making much noise.
 

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