Tag Archives: Roadtrip

A trip to NorCal – Backpacking Mt. Eddy with Mike!

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Saturday and Sunday, 28 & 29-June-2020

 

Saturday:

Mike and I were talking, and realized that we don’t actually live that far apart. Kind of concerning that it took us 5 years to realize that… but you know how engineer are with details. Sometimes we miss the obvious ones, right? Like this one.

We met in the middle – almost exactly, actually. I’d been introduced to Mt. Eddy about a year ago, as a beautiful secluded backpacking trip that was pretty mild, but also had amazing views of Shasta… and since it was super close to halfway, it was a perfect place for Mike and I to meet up, hike up, and catch up.

So we met up at Blackbear diner, ate probably too much food, and then drove out to the trailhead. Found parking spots in the packed lot, packed up, and headed in.

I mean, okay. This is backpacking. The story can basically be “we walked for a while, then rested, then walked some more, then set up camp”… the fun of the trip is in the views (see photos) and the conversation (no audio logs available). I can’t really describe the pictures, since they’re each worth roughly a thousand words, and I don’t really want to transcribe the conversation.

I can tell you that it was excellent, though. Good walking, feeling good and strong, and great conversation. The elevation definitely did get to us a bit (we were around 8,000ft), but it wasn’t too rough. We persevered, and hiked onward.

The interesting part came when we reached Deadfall Lake, and realized that most of those cars at the trailhead were backpackers, also staying at Deadfall Lake. All of whom arrived earlier than we did, and claimed spots before we arrived. Which made finding out own spot pretty challenging, to say the least. Seriously – it took us something like an hour and a half to hike in… and then nearly another hour to actually find the campsite.

When we did find it though, it was pretty quality. A flat area on a slight hill, trees and brushes to break the wind, and a great view of the sun setting over the Northern California mountains.

 

 

Sunday:

I woke up first, and busied myself with filtering water, making coffee, and heating up breakfast. It wasn’t that early, but still early enough that the warm morning light was filtering through the trees, and the air was still beautifully crisp. It was a strange transition from the previous day – when we got lunch at the diner, it was 91 degrees in town. When we’d parked, my car read 68 degrees… and I’d guess it was in the 50s when we woke up. Not bad for summer, yeah?

The day got colder, though.

As we ascended toward the summit of Eddy, it kept getting colder and colder. The wind started up too, bringing some pretty heavy cloud cover along with it. We went pretty far before finally calling it – When we got to the ridgeline that leads up to the summit, and saw that the whole summit block was in a massive cloud bank, we officially pulled the plug and decided to head back to camp. The wind definitely wasn’t helping either – both of us were hiking in our jackets at that point, during the last weekend of June. Dang, man.

Anyways, the rest of the trip was beautifully clean and simple. We trekked back, packed up our gear, had a snack, and then headed back to the cars. More photos, more conversation, and more enjoying being away from everything for a little while.

We did stop into a nice diner in Yreka on the way back, but aside from that it was a pretty straight-forward route home. A long drive, to be sure, but absolutely worth every minute.

 

Hiking Mt. Eddy in 2019

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Friday through Sunday, 04-Oct through 06-Oct-2019

 

How did I miss telling this story, and posting these pictures?  2019 didn’t have that many trips, and this was definitely one of the standouts… even though it wasn’t particularly long or involved, it was gloriously beautiful, and a really excellent adventure!

David and I, with an energetic Ollie in tow, drove down to Northern California.  Just over six hours in the car with a hyper puppy, but it was all worth it when we saw the views!

 

Northern California is beautiful.  It’s (as far as I understand) a high altitude desert, and we were hiking and camping at almost exactly 8,000ft elevation.  The trees were gnarled and twisted, and there were nearly as many standing dead trees as there were live ones.  It reminded me of Greece, somehow, even though I’ve never been there.  It just seemed right, though… Once I go to Greece, I’ll let you know if that feeling was accurate.

It’s been along time since this trip, so excuse my brevity on the description.  The short version is that we drove down, hiked in, and set up camp.  Then, the next day we summited Mt. Eddy, took in the beautiful views of Mt. Shasta, and then circumnavigated one of the smaller peaks on our way back to camp.

Ollie had a blast of course, right up until I had to put on her boots to protect her poor paws from the volcanic rock we were traversing across… she wasn’t too happy at the time, but I’m quite confident that she appreciated it in the long-run… almost as much as she appreciated the cozy nest that I made for her after we got back to camp, when she bonked out like a light.

The next day we packed up, hiked out, and had an excessively delicious dinner at the local Blackbear diner.  Then the long drive back to Portland, full of amazing views and excellent conversations!

 

Climbing at Vantage, with Daniel!

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Thursday, 11-Oct-2018 through Monday, 15-Oct-2018

 

Quotes from the weekend (overheard from others):

“well, we’ve got straight vodka!”

  • A group climbing, debating what they have to eat/drink at the cliff.

“Yeah, I know how to belay… You just pull it through right?”

  • A person nearby, who we later learned hadn’t ever been outside before

“Ohh it’ll be fine! What’s the worst that can happen?”

  • The worst thing you can ever hear. We kept an eye on them…

 

Daniel came out to visit! Yay Daniel!

It’d been a while since we’d hosted guests, so we were pretty excited for this chance to show off, adventure, and be a bit more sociable.  Our plans were pretty simple – meet Daniel at the airport, cook a fancy dinner, climb in Washington, and then explore Portland.  Those can be the best plans, honestly… simple, straightforward, and clean.

So we stuck with the plans!

 

Thursday

Picked up Daniel, ate stuffed acorn squash.  It was glorious. Tried to scare him with an animatronic Santa, but unfortunately that didn’t quite work… I think he expected something, and so wasn’t surprised when he found out what that something was. Went to bed early, so that we’d be ready for the weekend of adventure coming up.

 

Friday

Packed up the car, drove to Vantage. It was a surprisingly long drive… though the technical duration of the drive was exactly what we’d expected, it somehow seemed to take way longer… It wasn’t a bad drive, by far, but it definitely wasn’t a super fun one. I think it was tough because we were all so excited, honestly.

Once we arrived, we did a quick unpacking and then headed in to climb a bit, specifically at the feathers, where Sarah got in her first post-injury rock climb! We didn’t do a ton of climbing, thanks to the sun setting on us, but what we did get to was quite excellent – I actually ended up working a 5.10 by accident! I didn’t quite finish it on lead, but then Sarah came in and wrapped up her post-recovery climbing by crushing it – on top rope, since she wasn’t quite cleared for taking falls yet, but still. No issue, clean movements… she cruised up the route that had just thrown me off.

 

After climbing, we headed back to camp to finish setting up. Once done, we cooked (and then ate, of course) a delicious steak and zucchini dinner, around a fire, with whiskey!  It was glorious!

 

Saturday

Had a relaxed morning, ate breakfast, and hiked out to the Sunshine wall once it was warm enough out.  Before we left though, Sarah did a bit of exploring and scavenging, and found us a rather impressive amount of firewood for the evening… we’d brought some of our own, but you know how it is. There’s never enough firewood, and having that little bit extra can be the difference between a pleasant evening, and going to bed before the conversation gets really good. Once it was warm enough though, we headed to the Sunshine wall to get in some serious climbing.

Climbing was excellent – it was somehow almost too warm, at times, and beautifully sunny. There were a lot of people around, but thankfully we were able to work around most of them and get in a quite legitimate number of routes. See below for specifics:

  • Ride ’em cowboy
  • short trad line
  • cool arrete
  • other climb
  • trad version of other climb
  • boshido

Honestly, we should have brought more water though. As the day went on, we snacked and sipped, but the sipping ended far before the snacking did… and thanks to that bright sun (hence: “sunshine wall”) we were quite dehydrated by the afternoon. Instead of trying to push for more routes, we took the better part of valor and headed back to camp for some well-earned rest.

At camp, we enjoyed the rest of the evening – chopping firewood, cooking dinner, stargazing, all of those good things.

 

Sunday

Vantage is pretty awesome and all, but there’s a lot to do in Portland too. As such, we packed up fairly early and headed out, after grabbing a few small branches of sage to bring home.

On the way we did stop for a quick snack in The Dalles, but aside from that it was pretty much a straight burn home… quicker driving this time, but it’s still an impressively long drive. That drive makes me miss the comparatively short ride out the North Conway.

At home, we didn’t stay for long. We did a quick unpack, set Ollie up with a nice place to relax and unwind from the drive, and headed back out for a bit of adventure!

We:

Ate Apple Cider Donuts!

Went to the Pendleton store!

Walked around downtown a bit!

Ate conveyor belt sushi!

After sushi was done, we were all pretty well worn down… but Daniel was visiting! And I wasn’t going to give up on bro-time just yet! We dropped Sarah off at the house, since she was crashing pretty hard, and went out on the town, finally settling into a small basement bar called “The Caves”.

Spooky, right?

Well, it wasn’t that spooky. In fact, it was really cool – I learned about yellow wine, and orange wine, and we got to sit in a tiny little alcove beside the bar. It was lovely, and honestly a perfect bro-down time. Which is a little strange, honestly. I guess Daniel’s finally corrupted me into accepting that sometimes it’s acceptable to just sit down, relax, and sip a fancy wine.

It’s very acceptable, as a note. An extremely good cap to an excellent visit full of excellent adventures!