There is no better way to test your fitness level and gear than to go out for a hike, better yet an overnight trip, in challenging terrain, and in less than ideal conditions. This is known as a shake-down trip. I jumped at the chance to join my friend, Catherine, in her final preparations for another long section hike in the high Sierra.
Catherine is no slouch. She knows how to select challenging trails.
But Mother Nature had other plans. My starry starry sky went dark about 4am. I added my rain fly and sure enough at 6am, I heard that all too familiar gentle pitter-patter sound. By 7am, intensity increased. For the next 24 hours we endured strong gusty winds and heavy winds. My tent location was not great for weathering a storm, but with the wind and rain I elected to stay put rather than attempt relocation. It did great, I only had to contend with occasional blowing debris.
After spending most of the day in my tent (so thankful for my phone e-books), I was more than ready to leave the next day. We knew it wouldn’t be safe to attempt our off-trail adventure in such conditions, so it was time to pack up our wet gear and head down the trail.
Did the blue skies tempt us to stay? No, we checked the forecast on our InReach devices and found 30-40% chance of continued rain for next couple of days. Lesson: DUH, why didn’t we check forecast before we left? You’d think we were amateurs; but no, with the great weather we’d been having, we just got complacent.
As my readers know, I LOVE wildflowers. During my first visit to the Marble Mountains I was stunned with the density and enormity of the blooms. In fact, it was the first time I ever said ENOUGH. After walking though meadows with flowers taller than me, crowding the trail, alive with buzzing bees, and thick with humidity, I truly was ready for a break. The flowers weren’t at peak yet, so I did not have such an experience this time, instead it was easy to appreciate single blooms.
Dates Hiked: July 7-9, 2016
Marble Mountain Wilderness Resources:
- Marble Mountain Wilderness USFS Web Site
- Marble Mountain Wilderness Wilderness.Net Web Site
- Marble Mountain Wilderness Lakes USFS PDF
- Marble Mountain WIlderness Trails USFS PDF
- USFS Marble Mountain & Russian Wilderness Areas Map
- Marble Mountain Wilderness Interactive Map Wilderness.Net
Wilderness Permits are NOT required for overnight trips
Campfire permits are needed for the operation of a backpacking or camp stove. Online Permit Link
Bear canisters are NOT required