Dianna and I went backpacking in the Trinity Alps for four days over Memorial Day weekend. We started out on the Pacific Crest Trail heading West and were astounded by the isolation and the beauty. Four miles in, the trail disappeared under a few miles of snow. So much for hike number one. On the second day we made our way to the Swift Creek Trail. A ranger warned us we would find the creek uncrossable about five miles in, but that by scrambling down a bluff and walking across a large log we could make it to the other side.
When we got to the crossing, the river didn't look so bad, but neither of us had brought sandals for walking on the rocks, so we were doubtful of our ability to cross without slipping and being swept over the falls. We noticed some other people at the bottom of the (30 foot tall) bluff searching for the log, so we decided to wait and see if they made it across. Two hours later, that group dragged themselves back up the cliff cursing the ranger for a liar. No tree, no crossing. We ended up sharing a camp site for the night, which wasn't actually so bad.
The next day Dianna and I decided to just hike out and drive home instead of trying to hike to the Granite Lake campsite. First, that site was supposed to be relatively crowded (because everyone else had decided to avoid the Creek Crossing of Doom). Second, we had already been stymied twice by various phases of water. We rationalized that one hundred yards from the second campsite we would be met with an impenetrable wall of steam.
So instead we drove back down the scorching I-5 to a nicely cool Berkeley and spent Monday sitting on our asses and enjoying the miracles of modern plumbing.
Posted on June 06, 2004 02:48 PM