Backpacking Elk Meadows in September


Saturday and Sunday, 24-Sept-2022 & 25-Sept-2022

Wow… I can’t believe it’s been this long since I’ve gone backpacking up at Elk Meadows. It’s been… what? Since at least 2021… So over a year, from my records. 13 months.

For this being my go-to hike, that’s kind of a long time.

I mean, okay. Granted, I’ve hiked Elk Meadows a ton of times since then. Let’s see… three other times? More than any other hike, by a good margin, so it still counts as a go-to. Just… less backpacking this year, I think. Yeah – four times this year, vs. six last year. But there’s still time, I have faith I’ll get another few in this year.

Anyways I went backpacking at Elk Meadows

It was a lovely weekend – I started off by having brunch at Timberline Lodge, getting a chance to sit down at the Cascade Dining room for their buffet and snacking on some excellent fancy restaurant fare. It was… good… but not great, frankly. COVID’s hit everyone hard, especially the tourism industry, and it felt like the Lodge was still severely understaffed. I was patient though, snacked as I could, and soon enough was parked and heading up the trail to Elk.

The hike was lovely – I went pretty much non-stop, working on my endurance a bit, and pushing to hike a little bit more quickly than I normally would. Not being in a rush, mind you, just… pushing my body a little bit. Exulting in my strength and endurance, and seeing how far I could push those limits.

I made camp in a new campsite for me, since there were folks in my normal ones, and set about exploring the meadow. It was interesting – the meadow was more crowded than I think I’ve ever seen it before, with a grand total of maybe half a dozen people camped around various spots. It was almost loud… not significantly so, of course, and not enough to overwhelm the sounds of nature, but… still. Loud enough that it was noticeable and memorable.

I relaxed.

I ate dinner, read my book, and stargazed.

I slept gloriously, and woke up excellently refreshed.

I explored the meadows again in the morning. Stretching out, warming up the muscles, and appreciating the cool and sunny day.

I finished my book, packed up, and walked back to the car.

It was a good day.

Ohh! One interesting thing of note – My campstove had given me trouble on Middle Sister, if you recall, so I pulled it apart before heading out to Elk Meadows… dissassembled the whole thing, cleaned and rinsed it, and made sure everything was back in its proper place. Works like a charm, now!

Just a reminder to people – You’re always capable of troubleshooting stuff!

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