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Granite Escape 3

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Late summer in Goleta. We all know what that means.  Hot and flat.
Also, time to head for the big mountains.

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And so we pack up the family and friends and dogs and make our escape
up to the Sierra National Forest.

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And so we pack up the family and friends and dogs and make our escape
up to the Sierra National Forest.

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Hiking with a heavy pack above 8,000 feet elevation is a chore, but as Steve Miller once said,
“You gotta go through hell before you get to heaven”.

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Thanks to all the rain, and snow this year, there was lots of water,
and the wildflowers were still blooming in late August!

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Lots of clean water and it wasn’t that cold!
The mosquitoes, however, were a force to be reckoned with.

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The beauty of the green grass and the smell of the pines always makes the long journey worthwhile.

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Wildflowers were popping up everywhere.

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And so was Enzo. He was bouncing all over the place, so stoked to be out in the wild and free.

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He was constantly running in circles, chasing grasshoppers, moths, anything and everything.

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By dinnertime, however, he was spent.

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Reina took a more measured approach to her appreciation of the wilderness.

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A daily ritual for us was to walk up to a nearby smaller lake that was deeper
and had some good jumping rocks.

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It felt good to get washed off….

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And have fun doing it!

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And maybe take a little nap in the warm, high altitude sun.

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From the upper lake, we could see a few little patches of snow, so of course,
we had to go check it out.

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Enzo had never seen snow before, Reina only once or twice.
They both were very interested in it.

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We had to have a little snow ball fight…

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Make a snow angel…

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Get pitted in a snow barrel…

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And a little butt sledding.
We got our money’s worth out of that little chunk of snow for sure.

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And from the snow patch, the view was spectacular.
9,000 feet above Haskells Beach.

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Back at camp, we always find some way to keep ourselves busy. After collecting wood and
filtering water, there’s a little time for leisure. The boys threw together a little baseball game.

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The ladies gave themselves a facial.

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And Enzo taunted us with the perfect stick.

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There was also time for a little fishing, mosquito nets and all…

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Every evening, we were starving, and the freeze dried food tasted like a Five Star restaurant,
especially when our lovely chef threw some fresh sliced jalapenos in the mix!

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After dinner, we would retire to the living room for a little jam session by the camp fire.

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Our late night entertainment consisted of cocktails without ice and liars dice.

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This was the view out my tent every morning. Enzo, keeping watch, and waiting patiently…

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One of my favorite things about being deep in the wilderness is the quiet.
We don’t realize how hard it is in our day to day life to find real quiet.

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But early in the morning, when everyone else is still asleep, it’s beyond quiet, it is silent.
Dead silence. It’s impossible to find at home. It’s mesmerizing and rejuvenating.

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Most every afternoon brought some storm clouds and thunder.

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One day brought lightning, rain and hail! But we were prepared and it was a fun experience.

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And the next morning everything was fresh and clean and the smells were amazing.

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And just like that, it was time to leave.
Until next time….