March 28, 2003
Ventana is Gorges

The gallery of select photos from Dianna and my backpacking trip into the Ventana Wilderness is here. A brief synopsis of the trip follows:

Day 1: Hiked in. This really means hiked up, since the Ventana Wilderness is a series of ridges/gorges that turn unwary backpackers into wobbly little bits. But the views from the top of the ridge trails were incredible. After traveling along the top of the ridges for a while, we dropped down to the valley and were almost immediately in a forested wonderland. After 2 miles, we reached a meadow and called it our first campsite.
Day 2: The weather was beautiful, so we decided to just lounge around in the valley instead of hike out to another campsite. Lots of fun was had.
Day 3: Hiked out of the valley (in nasty mugginess) and up the side of a ridge (in breezy coolness) to our second campsite. While the first two days were great, I really look forward to going back so I can explore the trail around this ridge more. The trail itself was really fun (winding with great views, but not too steep), so I'm looking forward to hiking more of it when we go back.
Day 4: Hiked back down to the valley floor, then back up and out out the wilderness area. Unfortunately, this meant the most grueling climb of the entire trip. I don't really want to talk about it, but I think I promised my soul to the devil so that I wouldn't have to hike uphill anymore.

We only hiked 13 miles during the entire 4 days (we had planned more than double that), but there were several thousand feet of elevation change involved. Next time we're going to find a topo map with a smaller scale (ours was contoured to 200 feet, which made things look easier than they actually were). But it was an incredible amount of fun, and I can't wait to go back.

Posted on March 28, 2003 11:48 PM

That's sounds like an unbelievably cool place. Where is the Ventana Wilderness?

Posted by: jason on March 29, 2003 06:28 AM

It's down south near Big Sur. About 13 miles from Big Sur and the coast, to be precise (there was a trail running out there, but it was way to hardcore for us).

Posted by: Jacob on March 29, 2003 10:59 AM

and by "way to hardcore for us", what jacob really means is not that the trail would have been excessively hardcore for us to handle. he actually means that the trail led directly to the town of Hardcore, but only for us. other people would have taken it and found themselves transported to a magical place i can't tell you about because it's a secret.

(damnit, jacob, how many times must i cover for your grammar?)

Posted by: Dianna on March 29, 2003 11:41 AM

Oh, I just thought "hardcore for us" was a misspelling of Hardcore Forest, the enchanted woods where The Scorpions were banished when the Berlin Wall fell.

Posted by: jason on March 29, 2003 12:03 PM