Jennie Lake was our second pre-HST trip. With only a couple of weeks away, this would be the final trip to test out gear, fitness levels, and preparedness for the 60 mile trip to come. My brother Jeremiah was able to join us for the overnight trip. The rest of the HST group, Seth, Jeremiah, Brian, and I, were there too. The plan was to leave my house around 7 AM and start hiking around 930 AM at the trailhead in Big Meadows.
Full photo album -> HERE
Saturday July 21, 2012
I woke up at 530, put on my hiking clothes, and headed to Denny’s for a big breakfast. My brother and Brian stayed the night at our house, so they followed in suit. I went to pick up Jeremiah and met everyone at 6:10 AM for breakfast. We all placed our orders, gobbled down the food, and went back to the house to grab our bags. We departed around 7AM to head to the trailhead.
We arrived at Big Meadows in good time. Some people used the facilities there while others fine tuned their backpacks. Both vehicles were locked and with bags on everyone’s backs, we headed out towards Jennie Lake.
We crossed the only bridge along the trail, which is near the trailhead. The first 1.5 miles was relatively easy. It was going to be a perfect warmup for the uphill section soon to follow. We enjoyed the views along the way and snacked on Jeremiah’s vegan food. It was pretty tasty; garbanzo beans and salted peas. Once we passed the Fox Meadow cutoff, we went south at the fork in the trail.
Typically we take a photo by the Jennie Lakes Wilderness sign, but this time we would save it for the return trip. Everyone was in the grove and wanted to ascend up to Poop-Out-Pass as soon as possible. We did some leap frogging early on with a group, but soon pulled ahead of them. They did have larger and heavier packs on them though. We did snag a group photo on the way up though.
There was plenty of talking along the way. A joke or funny comment would be said now and again. Naturally as the trail began to increase in gradient, the talking turned to breathing harder then before. It didn’t take long though and we were at the top of Poop-Out-Pass. The trail was not hard to find at this point. A few years ago it was covered in water and melted snow. We used the blaze marks in the tree to navigate our way around. Thankfully it wasn’t the case this time and we found a good log to stop for lunch.
Trekking down to Jennie Lake was easy now. The hard part was behind us, however, an awkward situation was at hand. A couple of guys, who appeared to be doing a day hike, passed by while we ate lunch. Once we finished and were heading down the trail, one of them apparently stripped down naked. We know this because as we caught up to them, the naked guy was running down the trail ahead of us covering his front side with his hands. His friend was paralyzed for a time while we approached. I am not sure what was going on and really none of us wanted to know. We called him “cheeks” from there on out.
Shortly after the cheeks incident, a wonderful view of Jennie Lakes Wilderness and the Monarch Wilderness could be seen. We snapped some photos and eagerly pressed on to the lake. We were about a mile to a mile and a half away. The trail was still easy to find, which made for an easier and steady pace.
Once at Jennie Lake, we set up camp and relaxed the rest of the afternoon. We snapped some photos of course, went swimming, and enjoyed each others company. Some people there carried in rafts and were boating around the lake. We could not have a fire due to fire restrictions on the Forest, so we went to bed early.
Sunday July 22, 2012
I was the first one up and looked forward to getting some sunrise photos of Jennie Lake. I snagged one of the camp and proceeded over some rocks to enjoy the view. I returned to camp to find my brother stirring and told him to check out the sunrise. He joined me for a bit and when we arrived back at camp, everyone was getting up.
We ate our breakfast and enjoyed the view for a bit. Soon we filled our water bottles, took down camp, and left Jennie Lake. The only uphill was a small section to Poop-Out-Pass. Then it was all downhill for 4 to 4.5 miles. We talked a bit and took a couple of breaks. Brian and I discussed the history of Mineral King at one of our break spots. One could easily see Mineral King from this section of the trail.
The Jennie Lakes Wilderness sign was another stopping point. We took individual photos as well as a group shot there too. Continuing down the trail we met up with several people leaving Weaver Lake or heading to Jennie Lake for a few days. A big Boys Scout group was on their way in. We said hello of course to all and made it to the vehicles by lunch time.