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Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

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Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby Take-a-Hike » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:34 pm

Since I have an abundance of free time, wife had plans for my summer, (road trip through Utah to Colorado, doing the NP thing, then a side week in Pac NW/BC), and this past winter threw summer a few weeks late, I decided to take one last trip to Yosemite and get some bucket listers done: HD via CR, during the week. So, we took off on a Sunday, 9/18, for Lee Vining, stopped at TM to pick up a permit..(bad, bad NP people!), spent the nite in a motel, and hit the trail Monday am.
Now, since quota for Sunrise Lakes trail was full, but Cathedral Lakes wasn't, and gal knew of my 1st nites intention, she gave me CL TH permit, knowing full well how much farther it was to Sunrise from there. And since there's a path along the road from CL TH down around Tenaya to SL TH, guess what....I slowed down real slow and drove along watching the trees, scenery, and we just pretended we walked that 7.5 miles along the way to Sunrise TH.
I really had no intention of going to Sunrise Lakes since my conversing w/TT, of this forum's fame, and planned on spending the nite on or close to CR itself. So, in any event, we were off...and a good thing we parked at SL TH, as our exit was quite wet and cold...w/dropping temps and getting worse. An exta few miles would have been flat miserable.
The slog up the hill wasn't bad...we had a full year's worth of training and felt pretty good. Got around the roller coasters and took the branch trail up to CR after filling every available jug w/water for the night in the last stream along the trail.
002.JPG
PRoof we, wife, shown, 'n me made it to the top of Cloud's Rest

010.JPG
Afternoon entertainment: Building T' Storms

We actually spent the nite about a couple hundred feet below the top, just off trail under the lone tree remaining at that altitude. I couldn't believe how warm it was that nite, and how beautiful...actually slept w/flap open and head out most of the nite.
Next day, we took the 2700' plunge down the back side to Sunrise Creek camping area, set up camp, had a small bite to eat and then set out for HD.
026.JPG
Do Hoodoos Grow Up to Be Big Domes?

It's interesting seeing the early ones come back, listening to the stories, etc. as we made our way up. When we actually got to the base of the cables, wife had her first "U r nuts if U think I'm going up that thing"....attack. But she saw some people come down, women, and a few tried to talk her into it. Finally after a few minutes, she mustered the courage and we started up. The bad part was it was about 2:00pm and most of the traffic was coming down....and we were the irritants going up...or more importantly, more like hemoroids. We were pretty much stationary!
Actually, she started out ok...my preaching consisted of "one step at a time, grab a pole, take a break on a slat, then off to the next pole". But about half way up, she got hit w/an anxiety attack...grabbed a pole and started gasping.."I'm dizzy, can't breathe, feel really week". It took a while, but I asked a woman on the way down, about our age, if she could lend my wife some encouragement. (I told her, whispered...she's like our kids, you can talk to your blue in the face, they don't listen, but if they hear it from someone else, it makes sense". She looked at me and said, I know exactly what you mean....and then gave my wife some motivation to get to the top.)
Her biggest problem was that we had not eaten much that day prior to starting up to the top. I know she was lacking protein, overcome w/the situation and a bit freaked out. But, we got her back in motion and once we breached that mid way steep part, the rest was pretty easy.
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We Did Make It...

Unfortunately, those daily T storm build ups got earlier and closer each day...and once on top, it was getting pretty hairy...so even though I promised her time to eat and drink at the top, we really didn't get the chance...and had to beat it out of there. But coming down was a piece of cake and not a problem at all...mostly cause there was no one on the way up...a blessing there.
We did get a little thunder at camp, maybe a drop or two...but that was it.
Next day, Wed the 21st, we did the 2K up, the roller coaster, then the 1.? whatever down, 9 miles to get out of there, and the last mile was wet w/rapidly falling temps. All in all a good trip and when we got home after she told all her girl friends, hiking buddies, gym buddies and her daughters, she told me she was really glad she did it... :nod:
Overall...I think we're done w/Yosemite. Maybe if our first backpack trip would have been there, we might feel different...but our first was Graveyard Lakes/Silver Divide area. She still likes that the best...and I think I do too. Last year we went in through Isberg Pass...walked around the S/E corner of the Park...but there's too many people, not enough views, and too much tree walking...
But...a check on the BL and that's what matters at 60!



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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:47 pm

Thanks for the TR, and photo's. Really liked the first shot of CR with TL in the background.
HD is not a good place to be during rain, and especially with thunderheads around, glad
you got off safely, those clouds in your last shot on HD don't look to friendly.
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby Jimr » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:20 am

Nice TR. What's retirement? I always thought it was fiction. The best part of hiking the Sierra are the memories. The pain, sweat, tears, fears all dissipate quickly, but the views, the sweet smell of the air, the exhilaration, those memories last a life time (I read that in a fiction novel called "Retirement").
What?!
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby tim » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:19 pm

Sounds like you were fortunate, given what happened on the following days:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 120D12.DTL
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby Cross Country » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:39 pm

The thing about retirement is that you do it when you're old (young'ens listen up) and hiking up hill, at elevation, with a heavy pack (all BP packs are heavy by now) is reeeealy difficult mentally as well as physically. Despite what the geezers on this forum say, the aforementioned is true. Masochists have no problem with this. The rest of us do. My point is the following:
DON"T put any BP buckets off until you retire.
I really did practice what I'm preaching. I NEVER had a bucket list but I knew what I wanted to explore. I wanted to explore all the best fishing spots in the Sierra (of course, my criterion) before it became too difficult. I did this before I turned 54yo. Little did I know that because of my seven (yes, seven) major surgeries it would actually and really become TOO difficult. I figured it would just become reeeealy difficult. For some people that's the case, for others like me it's literally true.
I did explore all (maybe fifty) of the (my) best places but two. One was Josephine Lake (people here write that it's not all that great). The other was the lake close to Windy Ridge and close to Horseshoe Lake out of Kings Canyon up Copper Creek trail. It must be awesome fishing because no one will tell me about it (I wish some one would PM me - I promise I won't tell anyone)I
I've asked at least five times here, and no one seems to know anything. Yea, right!!
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:14 am

I have never looked at backpacking as a "bucket list", rather it is an enjoyable life-long activity. Yes, my more difficult and physically demanding trips were done before retirement (by the way I felt as strong in my 50's as in my 20's). I no longer do technical alpine climbing. The difficulty in backpacking is manageable- lighten loads, less mileage each day, more rest stops, etc. If you can manage to stay healthy and fit and avoid major medical problems I see no reason you cannot backpack into your 70's or beyond. Nothing wrong with handicapping it a bit when older- hire an outfitter to lug in your stuff to a base camp, for example.

My message to "young'us" is to work hard at staying fit and healthy so you can do your bucket list when you retire! Also, even when you are tied down with small children, still get out and do what you can. The psychological part of re-adapting to living in a tent, sleeping on the ground and the minimalist life style of backpacking can be really hard if you stop backpacking for 20 years! Nothing wrong with being a "weekend warrior" when you are short on long vacation time. It's "adapt, adapt, adapt". Life changes and how you can fit backpacking into that also will change.

Now, the really radical stuff? Do that when you are young (and too stupid to know how dangerous it really is)!
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby balzaccom » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:36 am

Good post, daisy!

As we now approach 60, we're doing more stuff than ever--albeit more slowly. But we have the time, the kids are gone, and we are still in great condition to do it.

And we are also smart enough NOT to do a few things that we've done in the past, and lived to tell the tale!
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby Take-a-Hike » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:41 am

WD: Thanks for the thoughts about "backpacking into your 70's". I was beginning to wonder. I just hit 60, wife a couple of years behind me...but, we both feel that we're in better "walking" shape now than when we worked. We're both blessed w/good health, I have arthritic knees, she has one w/a re-habbed ACL, but other than that...we're good. Lately however, I have been toying w/idea of having equipment "loaded in" somewhere and then going from there...I can see that being a possibility down the road.

Also, since we only started doing this backpack thing when we were in our early 50's, in our case it's a tale of "Too many trails, so little time"....thus, we prioritize and come up w/Bucket Listing.

I enjoy your TRs and you provide inspiration that we can keep this up for years to come...although my wife pales in comparison to your mileage and endurance, but we keep plugging along. I drag her along, (even though she's the one that got me into this phase of our lives), and she has yet to come home and after a few days, not been completely self satisified of her accomplishments and the scenery I subjected her to. And that provides the motivation for the next summer......
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby richlong8 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:04 pm

I enjoyed your post. Yeah, I am 56, and I don't really have a bucket list. But the clock is ticking. l do have a determination to do as much as I can, go as hard as I can, as long as I can. I am much more aware at my age that a health issue, old age, or injury could someday keep me from doing backpacking and fishing trips I do now. When that inevitably happens, I hope to take easier strolls, and have fond memories and photos to look at.
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby oldranger » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:14 am

No bucket list for me. My next destination can change with every TR or new piece of information. Fishing and off trail solitude tend to be what I value most (the scenery in the Sierra is all good!). But as someone noted in a recent TR fishing seems less important once I get there.

Yeah my time doing really nasty stuff is limited as I approach being eligible for medicare but in 1983 when I was a BC ranger in SEKI I met a 92 year old solo backpacker near Comanche Meadows. He didn't hike very far but he did negotiate 1200 feet of vertical and 5 or 6 miles to get there. I checked his camp the following year and he made it again though I didn't see him. He cached his pots and pans (a no-no for the nps) but I sure as hell was not going to make his journey any more difficult! I hope that means I have another 28 years in the backcountry!

Looking forward to more years of adventure.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:43 pm

My retirement and bucket list: from May to October stay in the Sierra!!!
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Re: Retirement and The Bucket List: CR & HD

Postby richlong8 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:10 pm

In I can retire in 5.5 years as scheduled, my wife is good with me taking lots of long trips in the Sierra.But she wants me to start carrying a Spot when I am alone. I hear they work kind of "spotty", but they should keep getting better, I would think. I catch myself daydreaming during the day. Back to work!
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