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TR: Little Lakes Valley with kids-f/u from my inquiry

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TR: Little Lakes Valley with kids-f/u from my inquiry

Postby hjldennis » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:55 pm

Earlier in this board, I had ask about possible destinations for our family backpacking trip with 7 & 9 yr olds, and decided on Little Lakes Valley.

Since the kids did not have school on Friday on Labor Day weekend, we originally planned on leaving on Thursday after school, but since we wanted to make sure that we get the walk-in permits, we pulled them out of school on Thursday and left early morning (3 am) to get to bishop by 8 am. We told the teachers what we're doing and why, and both of them were very supportive and gave all the worksheets for the day and even a test to be given by us! We thought the kids would be so excited about not going to school, but they were actually somewhat dissapointed to not get the perfect attendance. hmm.. Anyhow, thanks to the supportive teachers, we were the first one to be at the ranger station and grabbed 4 tickets to paradise for the following day. We then drove to Rock Creek Lake campground to get a site for our basecamp for our friends to come on Friday to camp while we go backpacking. The camp host was exceptionally nice.

On Friday, I drove my family to the trailhead in our RV to drop them off and drove back to the campground. I started to walk toward the trailhead hoping to hitch a ride. After about 10 cars and right after I entered the one way road, a nice couple offered me a ride. My daughter (7 yrs old) had not been feeling well in that morning due to the altitude and lightly vomited earlier in the morning. She was feeling better after vomiting so we pushed on forward. But in the very beginning of the hike she was beginning to feel bad again (in her words were "stomach ache") and again threw up water that she had been drinking after her first time earlier in the morning. We were ready to call it off or at least postpone, but she said that she is good to go. We rested at the trailhead for over an hour, while she was hydrating again and watching her closely. She seemed to be ok, and since we were not gaining much altitude and not going too far, we decided to to move on slowly. After about 30 minutes of slow hike, she seemed to be back to normal, and had not had any more problem after that for the remainder of the trip.
hike2.jpg
Sage in the lead
hiking.jpg
Our 9 yr old boy did not have any problems at all. We arrived at Chickfoot Lake and found a very nice spot. Kids caught 5 trouts for a little addition to our dinner!
fishing.jpg
fish.jpg
It was very quiet with only one other group across the lake. One huge problem! I had brought a wrong fuel canister! We had not been backpacking since we had kids and had lost the stove, and the new stove that I got did not fit the old canister that we had (it had no threads). I did have a backup small canister that was almost empty which would not have lasted for three days. I was ready to run back to the Rock Creek Resort next morning... Luckly I was able to rig something out of another backup microstove that I brought with a pocket knife, zip-ties and good ole duct tape. Thank goodness!
stove.jpg
backcountry fix
Another small issue.. My son cracked the water filter while pumping, but it was also repaired with some duct tape and zip-tie =) I think I have to consider backup for water treatment next time.

Next day we day hiked to Gem Lakes and again the kids caught some small trout which we released. Came back to Chickenfoot and played and fished for the rest of the day. Added 7 fish to our dinner, so we had some left over dry food to pack out. Light smoke rolled-in in the afternoon causing some concern, but it was not too bad. Smoke was gone by the following morning.

On the third day, we had our little Sunday family worship, and kids fished some more in the morning while waiting for our friends to come join as a day hike. Upon their arrival, we had lunch together and packed up. We left our packs by the trail and hiked together to Gem Lakes. Coming back to our campsite at Rock Creek Lake, we again got a ride from this nice gentleman who coincidently was heading to Rock Creek Lake for fishing, which saved us a lot of time, because my friend would've been shuttling us back and forth in his SUV otherwise. I think either people are nicer out in the mountains or nice people go out to the mountain more. Probably both

After sleeping in a luxurious 6 men tent (we gave up RV to our friend's family who is new to camping), and more fishing in the morning, we came back to the heat of LA. Wow I heard it was even hotter over the weekend! Oh, we did stop by for some pie at the resort which were REALLY that good. We were thinking perhaps it receives such a great reviews since people are starved after days in the back country (much like everything tastes great at Whitney Portal store) , but having the pie after a big clean up lunch, I can say it IS really good. I don't know about $7 a piece though....

All in all, VERY VERY excellent trip, and my family thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I guess there is not much need to describe how beautiful it was!

Thanks everyone for your inputs into this trip! We will definitely be back for more!

Dennis
wandering outdoors and the universe



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Re: TR: Little Lakes Valley with kids-f/u from my inquiry

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:45 am

Sounds like you had a good time, congrats.
Regarding your backcountry fixes, my son once said that if you can't fix something with duct tape and zip ties, it ain't broke.
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Re: TR: Little Lakes Valley with kids-f/u from my inquiry

Postby austex » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:32 am

Dennis,
Glad it all worked out with the family as far as altitude sickness and a th shuttle. Being the pointman you are hanging you neck and credibility out for the group. People don't really know what goes into a trip; let alone prep until they have done it. I try to go with others who can think and adapt on the fly. Makes it safer for both of us on the trip and they appreciates the planning efforts.
People for the most part are good, able and willing as we are hikers-fishermen are like-minded; but one never knows. I've never had issues especially ones I could anticipate and avoid all together with better choices.
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Re: TR: Little Lakes Valley with kids-f/u from my inquiry

Postby tim » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:48 am

Looks like a great place for your kids' first trip. At 7 and 9 you should have a good few years to explore the Sierra together before they hit teenagerhood and going hiking is no longer cool ;)
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Re: TR: Little Lakes Valley with kids-f/u from my inquiry

Postby hjldennis » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:48 pm

The Other Tom wrote:Sounds like you had a good time, congrats.
Regarding your backcountry fixes, my son once said that if you can't fix something with duct tape and zip ties, it ain't broke.


haha.. I never leave home without them.

tim wrote:Looks like a great place for your kids' first trip. At 7 and 9 you should have a good few years to explore the Sierra together before they hit teenagerhood and going hiking is no longer cool ;)


Oh no! I hope they'll never think that! Actually our goal is to do JMT with them in their teenage years. We thought that spending that much time as a family out in the back country during that stage of their lives would be pretty cool thing. IF we can pull it off that is... We have been working toward that goal since they were younger, trying to make every hiking and now backpacking experience as enjoyable as possible. So far it's been successful as my daughter's 7th birthday wish was to go backpacking! haha.. so far brain washing is working. We'll see....
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Re: TR: Little Lakes Valley with kids-f/u from my inquiry

Postby hjldennis » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:56 pm

austex wrote:Dennis,
Glad it all worked out with the family as far as altitude sickness and a th shuttle. Being the pointman you are hanging you neck and credibility out for the group. People don't really know what goes into a trip; let alone prep until they have done it. I try to go with others who can think and adapt on the fly. Makes it safer for both of us on the trip and they appreciates the planning efforts.
People for the most part are good, able and willing as we are hikers-fishermen are like-minded; but one never knows. I've never had issues especially ones I could anticipate and avoid all together with better choices.


Yes it is a lot of work, but I realized that I really enjoy the preparation part as well!
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