Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-7/23

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Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-7/23

Post by giantbrookie » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:42 pm

Everyone has a different mix of aspects of the High Sierra that motivates them hike there. Whereas fishing is a big part of my High Sierra experience, it is not the biggest one. In other words, the fishing can be relatively poor, as it was on this one, and the trip can still rank as one of my favorite all-time trips, as this one surely will. For my son Lee, fishing overwhelms everything else as a priority in the backcountry. In contrast, my daughter Dawn simply loves being in the High Sierra. Last year, for this reason, my daughter Dawn (then 11) took her first "daughter and dad" backpacking trip (she had taken several with the entire family before) to the Meeks Creek area of Desolation Wilderness, a three-day trip that she enjoyed so much she said "next year, we need to do a longer trip" (3 days had been the longest family trip to that date). Not only would the 2018trip be longer, it would have a significant off trail component and do one of my "daydream list" of 9 trips I sketched out in July 2013 (this is the 3rd of 9 done). Perhaps the centerpiece of the plan was a lake that had been on my to-do list for as long as any I hadn't seen yet--Brave Lake (on my to-do list since late 1980s). As per the usual 'premium' game plan, all of the 4 camping spots were planned as off trail (Feather Lake, Brave Lake, Hortense or Red and White Lake, Bighorn Lake).

Because Dawn has not attained the outdoor skill level of my redoubtable death march buddy, Todd, I invited him (alumnus of past signature trips such as Mordor I 2002, Mordor II 2003, Blackchuck 2007, Tunechuck 2008, Yosemite Inside Out 2014, and Gold at the End of the Rainbow 2015) to come on the trip in case someone got hurt or sick or otherwise needed help. Unfortunately, Todd's back started to act up after a warm up hike and he had to cancel for the first time ever--this aging thing is no fun. Accordingly, I dialed back the game plan a bit, removing Brave Lake (furthest off main loop) from the plan as well as the two most potentially dicey off trail segments. I figured I should lower the risk level a bit. Little did I know that Dawn would more or less have me revise the plan back to the most challenging possible options while en route...

Prelude Wednesday 7/18. We drove to Fresno so as to have an early start the next morning, plus I needed to drop by the department and meet with one of my grad students. I then found out that one of my colleagues had accepted a position at U. Alabama, so I wanted to meet with him and his fianceé to give him a proper farewell at an appropriate sort of venue (one with high quality beer). So we went to Sequoia Brewing Company (aka. Northern Headquarters to those in our department) and had dinner which I accompanied with the excellent and appropriately west-flank-Sierra named Jackass Meadows Double IPA.

Day 1 Thursday 7/19 (Lake Edison to Feather Lake). We began hiking from Lake Edison up the trail to Graveyard Meadow and veered off to Arrowhead Lake.
1382DawnOnColdCreektrail.jpg
Dawn, now carrying a 60L pack (up from her 45L pack last year) hiked well but began to slow on the approach to Arrowhead Lake. I began the trip with my 85L pack that I had weighed in at 56lb the evening before. As Dawn took a long break at Arrowhead, partly sheltering from a fierce thunderstorm, I sent many casts into the lake but did not get so much as a trailer, let alone a strike or fish. Nor did I see any visible sign of fish. The weather began to clear a bit and we headed up to our planned camp at Feather Lake. The weather report had predicted a 50 percent change of thundershowers on day 1 (7/19) and 30 percent for each day thereafter. Day 1 would prove to be mellow in comparison to the next two days. The temperature warmed dramatically after the passage of the storm, the winds died and hordes of mosquitoes swarmed us as we made the last approach to Feather Lake. Dawn requested I pitch the tent right away, as she would at each camping spot along the way. She hid from the relentless mosquitoes as I fished Feather for the main dinner course. This proved easy enough to do, even though there was very little visible activity in the lake. I caught 11 fairly skinny brookies running 9 to 11" and kept 4 for dinner which I did with the semi-boil/semi-fri method with cooking oil and teriyaki sauce. Skinny brookies tend to have mushy to rubbery flesh and these were no exception. They weren't bad, but not the best. We had this side dish of Indian-style vegetables from Trader Joes. I had thought this was a "just add boiling water" thing, but I found this was one of those ready-to-heat sort of deals (ie has all the liquid in it). No wonder the package contents weighed 10 oz. Delicious, but not a lot of food for the weight. Sundown did not thin the buzzing hordes so we dove into the tent pretty early. We had a big day 2 ahead...

Day 2. Friday 7/20 (Feather Lake to Brave Lake). We rose at 530 am and the screen of our tent was densely covered with mosquitoes already. Dawn declared this her worst mosquito experience ever and I told her it ranked no. 3 on my all time mosquito horror list. Partly because of the miserable nature of Feather Lake, but also because of wanting a campfire, Dawn requested I reinstate Brave Lake as an objective and aim to camp there at the end of day 2. She also requested I try the more rugged-looking (on topo) and northerly (more direct) pass to the ENE of Feather to reach the JMT south of Silver Pass Lake.
1389letsdescendthisone.jpg
This proved to be an enjoyable descent, but about 2/3 down I stepped into an unexpected (covered by some vegetation) hole and hyperextended my left knee. I writhed on the ground for a bit in pain, and Dawn, knowing that I wasn't "flopping" asked if this meant we'd have to get to the JMT and limp out. I've had a bunch of knee injuries over the years, including several while hiking, and this one seemed to be a bit worse than the other outdoor ones (in contrast to two much more severe basketball injuries). I figured I'd be able to wobble the rest of the trip at about 60 percent. "We're still doing the trip" was more or less my reply to Dawn.
1392lastpartofdescent.jpg
As we began to ascend the JMT to Silver Pass Lake I noticed that things had changed when I found I could not keep up with Dawn on ascent in contrast with having to wait for her the day before. This pattern would persist for most of the rest of the trip. Another change was that we saw the first people of the trip and, as one would expect, quite a few of them. All of them stuck to the trail and we found no one at Silver Pass Lake which is a smidge W of and below the trail. We took a long break at Silver Pass Lake where it was hoped that Dawn would catch her first golden. My first "test cast" was promising as it retrieved a 9" golden, but fishing proved to be spotty on our visit. There were numerous blank casts and then I caught two goldens of 9 and 10" on consecutive casts, then blank casts for the remainder of our stay. In the meantime, Dawn suggested we cool (and clean) our feet by wading in along the pleasant beach along the N side of the lake.
1393coolingfeetinSilverPasslake.jpg
After a fairly long time wading, fishing, and relaxing there we moved to some ledges on the cliffs of the NW shore. There another disaster struck. While trying to undo a tangle, I knocked my fine point-and-shoot camera (Powershot SX620HS) into the lake. The case with camera inside floated and it started to drift away from the shore. I leaped down and was able to corral it before it became a genuine swimming rescue. To my distress, the camera would not work anymore. I didn't have the greatest state of mind at that point, having ruined my camera and blown my left knee. Dawn's overall joy, however, helped keep my spirits up. Photos from that point came from my phone.

Leaving Silver Pass lake and ascending to the pass, again I labored, fretting that I could not keep up with Dawn. After we crested out the weather began to darken and we were hit with the first of several squalls.
0068descendingsilverpass.jpg
Out came the raingear--at least mine--Dawn insisted on not putting on the rain pants yet. We soon reached the fork between the JMT and the trail that heads to Lake of the Lone Indian. There we met a group of three struggling up to the junction. To the west along the trail to Lake of the Lone Indian, there is a small pond, and beyond, but out of sight, Papoose Lake, and then Lake of the Lone Indian. The leader of the hikers pointed to the little pond and said to me "That's Lake of the Lone Indian, right?" I replied that it was just a pond and that I would show him a map to give him a better idea. "That's OK, you don't need to do that" he said, but I insisted, and showed him where they were and where their destination (apparently Lake of the Lone Indian). After we took off toward Lake of the Lone Indian we saw the group of three milling around the little pond like disoriented ants whose trail has been smudged. It seems they followed the little use path (probably from hikers who would go there to filter water) to the trail and could not figure out that it wasn't the real trail; it apparently did not occur to them to follow us. Dawn got a charge out of the "Lake of the Lone Indian" thing and for the rest of the trip would ask "Is that Lake of the Lone Indian?" whenever we'd pass a tiny pond.

The trail climbs a few hundred feet above Lake of the Lone Indian. Once again, I struggled to keep up with Dawn who prefers to lead when on a trail. At that top of the grade I left the trail for a ridge that first heads north then WNW-NW. From that I planned to take north-trending spur to about 10000' and then head E to Brave Lake. The weather become progressively more threatening. We looked east and saw this dark gray curtain and it kept getting closer. Lightning lit up the ridges on the skyline and thunder boomed. I did not want to stay on top of the ridge any longer than needed now. I took a peek at one slot--nope way too steep. Then another---too steep. The deluge began and the time delay between the flash and boom became much shorter. Finally, I saw a chute I felt we could descend and keep the difficulty to class 2. We ducked into it and put on our full rain gear (I had taken mine off during a break in the squalls). Heavy rain and hail poured down. The thunder and hail scared Dawn. She did not find getting dumped on this chute anywhere near as fun as waiting out a hailstorm under a robust rock roof at Stony Ridge Lake last year. The downpour did not stop as we reached Brave Lake. We initially figured on hiding under the densest trees, but this did not totally keep the rain off of us. We switched trees several times trying to find a better one, while I pondered where to lay out the tent as well as HOW to do it. The Quarter Dome 3 has a mesh roof and a ton of water would get through before I could get the rainfly up given the intensity of rain. I figured the best way to do it was to set up the tent in the maximum tree protection with the rainfly, then move it out onto a viable camp spot. I looked very carefully at the runoff routes because I did not want to pitch in something that would become a temporary creek. I finally got the tent in a good place, inflated the mattresses and threw in our sleeping bags, gear and snack food. The campsite was a bit lower and closer to the lake than I prefer for optimal mosquito avoidance but I figured I could move the tent after the storm passed, whenever that might be. It was now something like 5 pm and it had been dumping hard for at least an hour.

Inside our spacious tent we munched on a lot of food, looked at maps, and Dawn asked me to tell me stories of past trips. At about 715 pm the rain seemed to have abated to a bare sprinkle, so I decided to step out to try some fishing. Dawn remained inside. I told her I'd be out about a half hour, but the fish in this lake were quite active so they kept me occupied for a bit short of an hour. Dawn in the meantime became concerned and she scampered out to meet me along the shore. By then I had caught 9 rainbows running from 11-13.5" and had strikes on something like 2/3 of my casts. The somewhat skinny fish and their numbers suggested to me that this lake is receiving a few too many fingerlings (it is air dropped with rainbows). Four of the fish were kept for a massive main course. Because it's under 10000' (9920+) Brave L. is "campfire eligible" so we built a campfire that I could coal down and barbecue the lightly salted fish over, using my portable grill. Before I built the fire, I moved the tent further away from the lake to near the crest of the low rise bounding the lake on its WNW side. This dropped the mosquito level from moderate to pleasantly low. We accompanied the grilled rainbows with another one of those Trader Joes Indian food veggie dishes and finished with Pepperidge Farms Mint Milanos for desert. In spite of the big storm that began our stay here, this was a vastly more pleasant place than Feather Lake. On Dawn's request, we stayed up late (to 11 pm) enjoying a small crackling fire. The only fly in the ointment for me, other than the gimpy knee and the apparently fried camera, was the onset of my first full bout of back spasms in 10 years. Back in those days before I really ramped up my core training it would usually take several days to shake the back spasms and I could not do it without the aid of muscle relaxants (which I no longer carry with me). In any case I could not stand up straight the entire evening.
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Silver Divide 7/19-23 pt 2

Post by giantbrookie » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:50 pm

Day 3 Saturday 7/21 (Brave Lake to Hortense Lake). The day dawned crisp and clear and with virtually no mosquitoes at our campsite. I was relieved to find my back more or less normal. Apparently the well-trained core led to my first "self correction" from back spasms. After the usual oatmeal and hot chocolate, around a small wake-up warming fire, we headed to the lake to fish. Dawn had been battling a long skunk spanning several trips and she broke it in style, catching 7 rainbows from 11-13.5", and I caught 4 and spent much of the time either releasing fish or putting some of Dawn's on a stringer to eat. Even the moderately heavy mosquito harassment could not dampen Dawn's jubilant mood which resulted from her best fishing session to date.
0075Dawnsrainbows.jpg
We barbecued 4 rainbows for a robust brunch, then packed up for what I planned as a relatively short day, given the late start (about 11 am). Ahead (or below) lay what I had long fretted about as the crux of the trip: a blind descent to Fish Creek over terrain that looked dauntingly steep on the topo and also appeared to have some nasty brush on the Google aerial views (as well as some big slabby cliffs). Feeling a bit chicken, I asked Dawn if she might rather take the sure shot way out--the way we came. I warned Dawn that there was a chance we'd get cliffed out halfway down and have to retreat back up. Dawn would have none of that. She wanted the maximum adventure. We hoisted our packs and said good bye to a place that will live on as Dawn's favorite. The descent had about 4 major vanishing points, but I resolved all of them without any class 3 and I avoided some intimidating brushfields.
0077bravedescenttop.jpg
As the slope leveled out and we approached the trail the mosquito density increased to the level of Feather Lake. The non-stop assault dissuaded me from snapping photos of the numerous tiger lilies blooming in them soggy saturated ground along Fish Creek in Cascade Valley. I would look at my shoulder and see so many mosquitoes on my shirt that it looked like black fur. Adding to the discomfort was the fact I tweaked my gimpy left knee again on a poorly aimed stride on the trail. Somewhere on this short stretch of trail we ran into three young men hiking briskly in the opposite direction wearing shorts and tee shirts (Dawn and I had long sleeve light shirt and long pants plus our mosquito net hats), the first folks we'd seen since the Lake of the Lone Indian group. They glanced at us and our mosquito net hats and remarked, "So there are some mossies here." After they were out of earshot, Dawn turned around and looked at me and simply said "How?" I think we'd both need a blood transfusion if we hiked in shorts in those conditions.

Soon another potential issue confronted us. I had planned to stay on the trail until I reached the outlet stream of Hortense, then go off trail to the lake, but the trail crosses to the opposite side of Fish Creek well downstream of the confluence and Fish Creek was running high enough so that I did not want to cross without a bridge. The topo showed the canyon to be a bit tight upstream of the trail bridge. Fortunately, the off trail travel on the "other" side of the creek turned out to be easy and we quickly reached the Hortense outlet stream and began to ascend. Once again, I labored ascending. In fact, Dawn complained that my frequent pauses were ruining her own hiking rhythm, something I could relate in my more common mode of having to stop and wait for folks. The only positive aspect of the ascent was that the mosquitoes thinned significantly as we gained elevation. In the meantime, the clouds closed in again and I hoped we'd reach the lake in time to pitch the tent before the rain began. We crested out through a saddle about 100 feet in elevation over the lake then descended as I looked for viable campsites. I found a nice potential spot but I worried about the water flow in the event of a deluge like the afternoon/evening before. I had the tent pitched before the rain began. Dawn had moved some of the gear, including the bear canister to the shelter of particularly accommodating tree. She went into the tent and I sat beneath this tree totally dry as the pitter patter sound started on the tent roof.

The rain did not look so bad, so I put on my raingear to take a few casts in Hortense. This lake sort of has a split personality with two parts separated by a narrow channel. I avoided the side with tons of small fish (ie guaranteed main course) and sent a bunch of casts into the "all or nothing" side. Nothing. I looked east and saw the dark gray curtain approaching so I hustled back to the tent as fast I could limp. Heavy hail began to pelt me just short of the tent. Inside we listened to the ferocity of the storm as we ate more snack food. This time we weren't as drenched to begin with, so we were more comfortable, but the storm outside had even more punch than the afternoon/evening before. We looked up and saw clumps of hail sliding off of our rainfly. Flashes and thunder were frequent but I didn't count any time delay less than 4 seconds (fortunately none of those less-than-one-second scary ones). At one point Dawn noticed the odd appearance to the floor of the tent between our Big Agnes mattresses. It was like a waterbed and one could see the rapid flow of water beneath it. Fortunately, the Quarter Dome 3, now on its 4th trip (Yosemite Inside Out, Gold at the End of the Rainbow & last year's Meeks trip) held up and we had no artesian springs on the bottom nor drips from the top. Finally, the intensity of rain and hail began to wane, and the floor of the tent "deflated"as water drained downslope. Dawn stayed in the tent and I stepped out to see the "hailbanks" around the tent and slope and take more futile casts and watch the evening glow light up the surrounding peaks.
0094hortenseeveglow.jpg
We didn't have a fish main course for dinner, but we'd eaten enough during the day so the Trader Joes Madras Lentil meal in a pouch plus various of our snack sides was more than adequate for dinner. Although the air was still and lake surface glass after the passage of the storm, it was chilly enough to drop the mosquito level to near zero.

Day 4 Sunday 7/22 (Hortense Lake to Bighorn Lake)
In spite of the fact that temperatures did not fall below freezing a large amount of hail remained on the ground. We left Hortense relatively early (which meant packing up a soggy tent that didn't have time to dry in the sun) because we wanted to give ourselves time to get over Rohn Pass to Bighorn Lake before thunderstorms threatened to cut us off. The first part of this route goes by Mace, Izaak Walton, and Cotton Lakes, and there are lots of little route adjustments to avoid small cliffs. The view was dominated by Red Slate Mountain, that looked as if it had been dusted with powdered sugar (either hail or snow).
0108redslatepowderedsugar.jpg
We had planned to fish Izaak Walton and also do a dayhike over to Red and White Lake before heading over the pass but decided we should hustle over the pass as soon as we could. No doubt this decision influenced by my lack of confidence in my mobility and speed, both of which remained far below par. Izaak Walton had an odd murky green look to it, but there were a few rises. However, I refrained from breaking out the gear and we trudged on.
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Re: Silver Divide 7/19-23 pt 3

Post by giantbrookie » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:57 pm

Day 4 Sunday 7/22 (to Bighorn Lake) continued.
Although mellow by class 2 pass standards, I struggled again ascending Rohn Pass and my frequent pauses annoyed Dawn.
0109belowRohnpass.jpg
About 100 feet or perhaps a bit more below the crest I figured out that my weight balance was too much toward my waist belt (which in this system meant the waist belt also rode a bit too low). In shifting the weight up a bit my lower body (especially my glutes) felt much better. In the meantime, Dawn was enjoying her first off trail talus pass and actually requested to lead a bit of it. When we crested out, we spontaneously high-fived each other and looked down at the deep blue of Bighorn Lake.
0110viewtowardbighorn.jpg
In looking at the topo I had originally thought to drop down easy slopes directly to the lake. But after descending 50 feet or more realized that cliffs dropped into the lake along both shores, blocking access to the outlet side where we wanted to go. I saw that I would have to regain a few feet of elevation and follow some shelves around to the east, staying high above the lake. This is exactly the way Rogue describes the route in the opposite direction in the Cross Country Passes Forum, but I had not read that before the trip given that I always like working out my own off trail routes on the fly.

Although quite cloudy the weather did not get anywhere near as wet as the two previous days. Dawn had me pitch the tent right away and a bit of light to moderate rain did come down as we repeated the afternoon routine and waited it out. Although higher than our other camps (10800 plus) the weather had warmed and the storm was less intense so a fair amount of solar heat warmed the tent nearly to the point of discomfort. Occasional dense clouds would cool things quickly, but this was different than the continually dense clouds and heavy rain and hail we had the two days before. The clouds started to clear before 5 pm, so we stepped out to hop over to Rosy Finch Lake to try fishing there. I had zipped a mess of casts into Bighorn without any results before taking shelter in the tent, and I had yet to see a rise or cruising fish there. Rosy Finch was not exactly bustling with fish activity, but we did see a few smallish to medium sized cruisers and some rises right off the bat. Our fishing results were not impressive: 2 rainbows apiece in the 8-11" range with Dawn getting largest fish honors for her 11-incher.
0116dawnatrosyfinch.jpg
0117rainbowsfromrosyfinch.jpg
For dinner I fried the fish in the remaining cooking oil in a non-stick frying pan (have three-tiered set of two pots plus frying pan). After they were done, I put a bit of teriyaki sauce on the crispy-skinned fish. Yum. Best fish dinner of the trip. The evening brought out signs of life in the lake with a few scattered rises and we fired cast after cast into the lake without any result. Although the wind had died away it was cool enough (not as chilly as the evening before, though) that there were very few mosquitoes. Earlier, before we had taken shelter from the afternoon rain, Dawn had taken great pains to nicely arrange the interior of the tent, including constructing a really elaborate and comfy pillow system (various support arrangement for our inflatable pillows). The end result was a really good night's sleep. I think that bed was more comfortable than the one at home.

Day 5 Monday 7/23 (Bighorn Lake to Lake Edison Ferry to Vermillion Resort to Trailhead)
We were not in a big rush to leave Bighorn Lake because we didn't want to spend hours waiting for the 445 pm ferry, plus a few rises dimpled the waters of Bighorn as I made the usual oatmeal and hot chocolate. In my experience, though, I rarely catch fish in a lake of this altitude before about 8 am or so, so I was a bit relaxed about getting going, whereas Dawn started casting right away. She reported seeing cruising fish she estimated in the 12 to 14" range in addition to the rises. Then, to her dismay, she hooked a nice golden of over a foot long and lost it trying to land it. I rushed to the lake and fired off some casts and had two short strikes in four casts from fish that appeared to be in the 12" range. I'm not sure what I was thinking but I thought fishing would get better as the morning went on; it was barely 7 am. So I went to tend to various camp duties such as breaking down the tent, deflating the mattresses and setting up the tent and rain fly to sun and dry. By the time I returned a bit before 8 am the sporadic rises continued but I had no strikes or trailers on any of my retrieves. Dawn kept at it for a long time before she finally threw in the towel and we assembled our packs. So, there was to be no Gold at the End of the Rainbow this time. But I think we struck gold of a different sort.

To descend I had originally intended to traverse eastward toward Rosy Finch to access some lower-angle swales dropping down to the valley below, but Dawn persuaded me to take the much steeper direct route close to the Bighorn outlet. This worked out well and was quite scenic as too, because the Bighorn outlet stream plunges over a series of nice waterfalls.
0129bighornfallsbetter.jpg
A relatively quick hike got us to Mott Lake, the last stop of our trip and our return to trailed country, as well as our return to a more mosquito infested environment. To my surprise, we found nobody at the lake-- we had not encountered another person since those three 'so there are mossies here' hikers early on day 3. We fished for a while. Dawn had several strikes but did not cash in while I had three goldens running to 10.5" and one rainbow to 9". This itself is rather interesting. Mott has been known as a rainbow fishery for a long time. Apparently goldens worked their way down (probably as fingerlings) from Bighorn and have spawned well at Mott where they seem to have out competed the rainbows. I recall SSS Dave had mentioned something about this.

The combination of insect harassment (mosquitoes plus deer flies) and fishing skunkage had Dawn eager to leave Mott, so off we went. The trail was quite mucky in many places, no doubt reflecting the consistently heavy afternoon/evening rains. We met a father with his daughter and son a tad below Mott, then lots of folks once we hit the JMT/PCT. One of these folks was a Norwegian woman hiking the PCT from Donner Summit to Whitney. We more or less hiked with her (she was a bit faster than us) most of the way from our entry onto the JMT until the ferry pickup point; she was headed to Vermillion for some supplies and a short break. There was quite a parade of folks on the trail, quite the contrast to us having the trailless country to ourselves and quite a crowd gathered around the ferry pick up point (we arrived a shade before 4 pm). Dawn amused herself eavesdropping and people watching. We were the only folks on the ferry who weren't through hiking. Although Dawn and I have rather different objectives on our trips than through hikers, we certainly share the joy and excitement of being up in the High Sierra. We had some nice conversations with folks on the ferry and after arrival at Vermillion. Dawn was by far the youngest on the ferry (only non-adult). One group of young women she talked were impressed by the fact we had been doing all that off trail travel, given that the very notion scared them. They told Dawn that she was truly a badass. Indeed. Yes, the different ways different folks enjoy the High Sierra, but enjoy we all do.

Postscript. After a stayover in the Fresno house, we had breakfast at the amazing Batter Up, my favorite breakfast spot on Earth, and headed back to Castro Valley. One thing remained to be tested. I wondered if drowning the camera had caused some sort of battery drain that had knocked it out of commission (my camera battery charger is in Castro Valley). I charged the battery put it back into the camera and the camera appears to work fine. Dunno about the knees, though (right one pretty bad from favoring the left one). We'll see. Off to the weight room to begin rehab. Dawn couldn't wait to tell mom and bro about the trip when she got home. This was by far her greatest Sierra experience. I told her she had graduated from a Padawan level hiker to Jedi level. She is now slated to go on any future death march trip I plan. For me the trip was grueling, the fishing mediocre, but the combination of the adventure and Dawn's joy make this one of my all- time favorite trips. It was a parent-child sort of bonding thing that I had experienced from the other end on the various death march trips with my dad during my teen and younger adult years. It was magical to be able to do this with my daughter.
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Re: Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-23 pt1

Post by levi » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:20 pm

Little kids so often put adults to shame in the outdoors (and also at the climbing wall, ugh), with the right parents and encouragement :) I really enjoyed reading this, thanks!

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Re: Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-23 pt1

Post by hikerduane » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:56 pm

Never have made it to Brave Lake, on my route a couple times, but opted for easier places. First time doing part of what you did, did not see anyone for four days. Once back to the JMT, 20 people in an hour.
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Re: Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-7/23

Post by kpeter » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:43 pm

What a wonderful account of a special father/daughter trip. Last year I was on my own father/daughter trip at Big McGee, not so far from where you were. While I love the Sierra and do most of my trips solo--nothing is as fine as sharing with someone you love.

Your daughter is most impressive! To go through cross-x, hailstorms, and wicked skeeters and still enjoy the trip! Just wow. And what luck with your camera. I destroyed one permanently by dunking it.

So glad this trip worked out so well for you.

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Re: Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-7/23

Post by TahoeJeff » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:21 am

What a great father/daughter trip! Dawn has truly proved herself off trail capable.
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Re: Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-7/23

Post by davidsheridan » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:47 am

Very impressive daughter! Giant Brookie, thanks for sharing the this TR!

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oldhikerQ
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Re: Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-7/23

Post by oldhikerQ » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:22 am

Thank you for the inspirational TR, Giant Brookie.
Great job sharing your love of the outdoors with the kids.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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gregodorizzi
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Re: Silver Divide off trail father-daughter trip 7/19-7/23

Post by gregodorizzi » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:21 pm

Great report! I'm going on my first daddy-daughter trip next month and hope to have the success you reported last year. Curiously, I was near you during the storm you reported on day 2 - I was hunkered in a cluster of trees at Marie Lake before finally making my way to a campsite at Sallie Keyes.

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