Thursday, August 30, 2007
Steph and I returned from our trip to the Sawtooths last night.
View pics of our trip here.
We spent four days and three nights backpacking. It was quite a trip.
Per Wikipedia, "The Sawtooth wilderness is considered by the EPA to have the best air quality in the lower 48 states. Wilderness areas do not allow motorized or mechanical equipment including bicycles. Although camping and fishing are allowed with proper permit, no roads or buildings are constructed and there is also no logging or mining."
What that means is, once you're in there, you can't change your mind and get in your car and go home. You can't buy a pepsi, or use a toilet. There is no running water and the water you drink needs to go through a filter first. If you break a leg you will probably spend days getting to a hospital. If you see a bear you hope it will run away first.
The good stuff; quiet. Beauty. Peace. Breathtaking scenery. And the confidence and pride that comes with packing everything you need on your back and carrying it up and down steep mountain trails.
What we learned and/or remembered; walking poles are very nice to have as they help with balance, wetting a kerchief in a cold mountain stream and tying it around your neck really cools you off, walking straight and tall takes the strain of the pack off your back and onto your legs where it belongs, and good hiking boots and socks are essential.
The highest lake we climbed to had an elevation of 8455 ft. (In comparison, the closet town, Stanley, has an elevation of 6260 ft, and Boise is 2842 ft.) So yeah, we did a LOT of climbing.
I'm so happy Steph invited me along. And even though the first day's entry in my journal says, "Arrived at Toxaway Lake around 8PM. Exhausted. Sore. Too sore to make dinner. Chilly. Grueling day. We promise not to do the same tomorrow", I would, in fact, go backpacking again.