With our first backcountry section now under our belt, the past few days have been full of new and fun experiences. From Half Moon Bay, we drove north to Preacher Meadow to prepare to enter the Trinity Alps Wilderness. We re-packaged our food, packed our packs, and went over skills we would use while backpacking. The next morning after a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, we started hiking. In order to leave less impact, we split into two groups to hike and camp. Nicky proved to be quite a fast hiker, setting a brisk pace for his group. As everyone adjusted to their backpacks and the hiking, we ascended to beautiful Parker Meadow for our first night. Both groups prepared a delicious Thai peanut pasta. Ben sliced some red peppers and onions, while Shayna and David sautéed the sauce. We fell asleep under a stunning blanket of stars, which Max thoroughly enjoyed.
The next day brought us up even further to Horseshoe Lake. One group saw four black bears along the hike, which Dario was excited about. That evening, we feasted on mac and cheese with pesto by the softly lapping waters of Horseshoe Lake.
Our third day of hiking held the most mileage of the trip. We switched up the two hiking groups for variety. Over our first mountain pass, Cole kept a positive attitude when the going got steep. The group slept well that night after a long day of hiking. Nate was very helpful on this long day, carrying extra weight of others and sharing his backpacking knowledge.
The next day brought us to deer creek camp, appropriately named as the group saw many deer. David enjoyed basking in the natural beauty of this dramatic setting and relaxing along the creek. Throughout the trip, Maya impressed her leaders with her initiative in setting up and taking down camp. Our final day brought us all together at gorgeous Granite Lake, framed by a cirque of towering granite peaks. We splashed in a river pool the student named “the jacuzzi” and cooked fried rice.
On our last day of hiking, the team was satisfied, tired, and excited for showers in Redding. Bruce kept us motivated on the hike out with songs and an infectious positive attitude. After laundry, we treated ourselves to a classic California dinner at In N’ Out burger. This morning after Ian, Shayna and Maya cooked us a delicious breakfast of bacon and made to order omelettes, we are headed west to explore the Redwoods and looking forward to our rafting trip on the Klamath River in a couple days!