We went camping at Pamelia Lake in the Mt Jefferson Wilderness for the past few days. It was our friend Alex’s birthday weekend, and as a trial for our trip to Vancouver Island in September, we were only supposed to pack the necessities, including freeze-dried pre-packaged camping meals.
Compared to Alex, Marcy and David, I am so out of shape (I’m sure I’ve said this before). I packed as light as I thought I could get away with, meaning no luxuries like a change of clothes except for some capilene underwear, and no swimsuit (I swam in my bra and quick-dry shorts). I even bought a new backpack and sleeping pad in hopes of cutting some weight. And did I mention that David carried the whole tent by himself? Regardless, I was huffing and puffing practically the whole uphill 2.3 mile hike. What a challenge!
This was the first real hike where Barkley had to carry his own pack, too. A couple weeks ago I got him a red Kelty K-9 dog pack and steadily added weight during our neighborhood walks. For the weekend he carried his own food, a little water in a Platypus bladder, a collapsible water bowl, some dog waste bags and a leash. Mia also carried her own pack and both dogs seemed to have no trouble at all. I guess I could have tried to train myself the same way, by carrying my pack and adding weight, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Pamelia Lake is really beautiful. I couldn’t stop taking pictures (until my camera started flashing the low battery warning). I definitely need to start carrying an extra one. I would say swimming in the lake with our friends and the dogs and watching the bald eagles were some of the coolest moments. The saddest moment was when a guy came by asking if anyone had cell phone service, because someone just had a heart attack. We found out later that he died and had to be carried down the trail on a stretcher. Very sad. David philosophically said that it is better to go with your family around and doing something you enjoy, instead of just at home alone. I guess that’s true.
Day two we hiked up the 3 miles to Hunt’s lake and spent the afternoon. There we had one of the worst prepackaged meals – a Backpacker’s Pantry Turkey with Mashed Potatoes and Stuffing – which never fully reconstituted and did not have an appealing texture or flavor. Actually both of the Backpacker’s Pantry meals we tried were awful. Next time I’m going to stick with Mountain House meals, like their pasta primavera, which was the best one we ate. It just so happens that they’re also an Oregon-based company.
Some photos from our trip:
A first glimpse of Pamelia Lake
Alex & Marcy embracing by the lake
Barkley and his reflection
A little trout that David caught
The bee that landed on my pant leg
View of Mt Jefferson
Butterfly on the trail
Pink wildflower, Hunt’s Lake
View near the Pacific Crest Trail
Sunlight through the trees