I really love backpacking. When Peter and I married, we did a couple of backpacking trips. Then when Zach came along, (naive as we were) we even entertained the idea of toting him along into the great back-country wilderness. With one of us hefting all of the gear and the other keeping baby happy... it would be a great time. Or would it? The truth is that I don't know, because we've never tried. Packing for anything overnight with a child, even in a hotel, seemed like work enough!
This year, for our anniversary, we decided to save a little money (thank you, rising cost of EVERYTHING!) and do one night backpacking and the second in a hotel. As we looked at our options locally, I was totally playing the tough girl. Like this: Well, hun. I can probably handle the long hike, but what about your ankle? It's true, and I was secretly hoping he would choose the easiest one. :o) Well, we're still 21-at-heart, or nuts, or SOMEthing. Because even after my dad described the hike to Lake Blanche as having "a couple of tough grinds," we felt overly confident and good to go.
It was about 6:30 at the trailhead, which you'll find at the stairs switchbacks up Big Cottonwood Canyon. I think it is officially called Mill B Fork. With our headlamps, mountain house meals, water filter, and itty-bitty camping stove tucked away, we were on our way. I should have paid more attention when we looked at the topo map on the computer where it gives you a graph of the incline. The first part was moderately easy and I was thinking, 'yeah! this is my kind of hike!' Then came the grind. And let me tell you, my dad's words kept repeating themselves in my head for that final S-L-O-W stretch. AND the blisters developing on my heels were not helping.
We reached the lake, which we had completely to ourselves on a Thursday night, just in time to see the sun setting. Lovely, lovely. The lake itself isn't much, but the view of Sundial Peak was fantastic. It is still spring at this elevation and we had a lovely field of wildflowers to walk through on our way to a little waterfall where we could filter water. I have given up trying to get the pictures we took to go with this post, since they were taken with hubby's phone. But here is a picture someone else took of Sundial Peak...
The distance of this hike was 2.78 miles, and the elevation gain was 2700 feet. In the end, I was really glad Peter stuck to his guns on doing this instead of two full days of lounging. Yes, it was tough. But I get a bit of a thrill and satisfaction when I push my limits. (remember that one time I ran a marathon? :o) And it feels oh-so-nice to completely get "away from the things of man... away from the things of man." (I'll make you brownies from scratch if you can name that movie!)