Sunday, July 20, 2014

Castle Peak Revisited

I guess I am the last to get my side of the story on the long awaited 4th Level hike that took place a couple of weeks ago at Castle Peak.  I actually had it ready to go the day after the hike, but my laptop inexplicably shut down in the middle of downloading the last of the photos.  Anyway, it was a great success due to Leigh-Ann's preparation and some YW who all got along quite well.  We had a lot of fun and I was impressed that all of the YW made it to the place I figured we'd stop to eat lunch, then three of them made it all the way to the top.  Here are some photos and commentary.
At the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail.
Uncle Peter on the rocky outcropping where we ate lunch.
Peter O.'s shoulder angel.
Los Tres Amigos.
After lunch some of us made the final assault.  This is where we paused for a moment to take our bearings and rest a bit. In about the middle of the photo you can see the rocky outcropping where we ate lunch and left the others.  Up and to the left of that you can see I-80 and Kingvale, up and to the right is "Red Ridge".
Turning around from where we took that other photo, this is the view of the final assault. At this point there were some folks camping with a couple of rather large dogs.  Also, off to the left there was a young couple who had packed in a couple of small children and lunch who passed us going out.
The view from on top - looking east.  Donner Lake, where we camped for the night, is in the background.
 It was a pretty warm day, but whenever I stopped hiking I got cool enough to want a jacket - which I had fortuitously brought along.  It was pretty breezy on top.
 The view to the north from the top. At the end of that ridge you can see Basin Peak, rather an oxymoron, but nevertheless it looks like it would make a pretty nice day hike to go up there from the top of Castle Peak, then drop down to the left, pick up the Pacific Crest Trail back to the Peter Grubb Cabin and on back.  I hear that the Peter Grubb place has a 2 story outhouse.  This I gotta see.
 Just a sampling of the many varieties of beautiful flowers we saw along the way.
It was rather warm all night, even though I was out under the stars.  Toward 5:30 however, it finally got cool enough to shake me out of my bag, so I got up and took a hike around to see the sights.  This is a monument constructed in 1918 to the pioneers.  The landing upon which the statues are standing is 22 feet up, the height of the snow on October 29 when the Donner Party reached this point and could go no further.
What the pioneers endured in seeking "a better country" is amazing to me.  We should all be grateful for their example, and for our heritage.  They truly are blessed and honored.
 Yes, Peter was right.  This was a great breakfast: dark hot cocoa with some oatmeal in it, and cinnamon crumb bacon sandwiches.  I have been looking for this Oberto treat ever since, but without luck.  I plan on taking some of this bacon jerky with me on all future campouts.

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