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Dome Land Wilderness 5/25/07

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Dome Land Wilderness 5/25/07

Postby gary c. » Mon May 28, 2007 8:33 pm

Our trek into the Dome Land Wilderness over the Memorial Day weekend was very enjoyable. I got to break in some new gear and spend some time enjoying a little of the Eastern Sierras more arrid high country.

After meeting Ken a little before 8am and then a 20 mile dirt road we arrived at the trail head. Before starting down the trail I have to admit that I was full of apprehension as to what I had gotten my wife Debbie into. I say this because this was her first time ever to backpack and when this all started I had planned what I thought was a fairly easy 3-4 mile hike just to give her a chance to see if you she would enjoy the whole BP experience. After a lot of internet searches and a lot of trading PM’s with guys from the various forums things changed and this had turned into more of a challenging hike than I had planned. I want to thank everyone that corresponded with me and gave some very good information and advise. From trail head to camp was about 4.5-5 miles with a constant downhill slope that wasn’t too bad but that also meant it was all uphill coming back out. Because it was thru an old burn area there was virtually no shade along the way. Fortunately for us the temps were mild and we hiked early so it actually turned out quite pleasant. When we got to the bottom Ken and I split up to find a good camp site and Ken found an excellent place set down in a low spot that work great to protect us from the afternoon breezes with good shade.

After setting up camp and getting our gear together Ken and I set out to see how the fishing was. The water is very low right now and the fish were very spooky but after a little while I seemed to figure them out and did very well. All the fish were smaller than I had hoped for but full of fight and absolutely beautiful little native Browns and Bows. I didn’t take very many pictures of fish because I kept holding out for the bigger ones. The few I did catch that were of any real size managed to jump or wiggle out of my hands before I got a picture. These fish seemed to just go nuts once they were removed from the water and refused to hold still for the camera. We had seen one Garter snake on the hike in and while I was fishing that first afternoon I saw two Gopher snakes. I didn’t see a single Rattle snake all weekend although I know this area has a lot of them.

The next day after a late morning Ken and I headed upriver to see what things were like. I could hardly believe how eager the fish were to take my flies. I had a lot of fun catching the little natives one after another but again they were smaller that what I had hoped for(aren’t they always). Ken on the other hand managed to catch a few nice sized fish.

Sunday, I woke up before 5am to start getting ready to hike out and hopefully beat the heat. I was very worried about how well Debbie would handle the hike back to the trail head. All my worries were for nothing because she handled it very well. As a matter of fact I can’t tell you all enough how happy and proud I was about how well she did this weekend. She did the complete backpacking experience without a single complaint about anything. I definitely have a winner on my hands and maybe a new BP partner to boot.

The little group of trees at the bottom of the far mountains is our destination.
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Debbie as those little trees are getting closer.
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Down in the valley and almost there.
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Looking at our camp site from both directions. Notice how we were sheltered.
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Couple of the first day catch.
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It’s not hard to tell why they call it the Dome Land Wilderness.
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Couple of trout from Saturday.
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Debbie and I in camp.
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Looking north on the hike out.
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Back at the trail head before heading home. Notice that it did not take long for Ken and I to get into some comfy shoes.
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gary c.
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Postby tomcat_rc » Mon May 28, 2007 8:58 pm

excellent trip report with photos. if you shaded camp this weekend then you were in good shape - it was warm temps in the Kern area - good fishing always adds to the experience. did you see any sign of bear - I did see one nearby while hiking near Monache
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want
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Postby gary c. » Mon May 28, 2007 10:37 pm

tomcat_rc wrote:excellent trip report with photos. if you shaded camp this weekend then you were in good shape - it was warm temps in the Kern area - good fishing always adds to the experience. did you see any sign of bear - I did see one nearby while hiking near Monache


We didn't see any bears but there was sign everywhere. They are walking both sides of the stream bank regularly. There was at least three very distinct size tracks all along the bank. My guess would be a juvenile and sow and a much bigger track track that probably belonged to a big male. I wouldn't even say that the first two were traveling together because there tracks didn't seem to look like they were. I was surprised to see that much sign in one small area but maybe love is in the air :unibrow:
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Postby KathyW » Wed May 30, 2007 7:34 pm

Gary:

It sounds like you had a nice trip. Don't be suprised if Debbie starts wanting to get out in the backcountry all the time - it can become addicting.

Kathy
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