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    2003 Desolation Wilderness Backpacking Trip
    (Thursday, 28 August - Sunday 31 August, 2003)

    The Crystal
Range, reflected in Lake of the Woods
    See also my photo gallery from this trip.

    Sarah and I spent much time in the weeks before this trip gathering gear and figuring out our meal plan and the like. We found several tasty-sounding recipes in Lipsmackin' Backpackin' that didn't require a dehydrator. I'd also been reading Ray Jardine's Beyond Backpacking and Ryan Kestenbaum's excellent the Ultralight Backpacker, and was keen to apply some of the techniques therein to lighten my load. On my last backpacking trip (my first as an adult), my pack weighed in at a hefty 50 pounds, so I figured it would be relatively easy to reduce that by a fairly significant amount. I did manage to get my pack down to 40 pounds - still a fair bit more than I wanted, but a significant improvement at least!

    After unpacking and repacking my backpack a zillion times, Wednesday night finally rolled around, and Sarah and I drove to my parents' home in Auburn to spend one final night in civilization.

    On Thursday morning, we had a tasty breakfast at Sweet Pea's in Auburn then drove to Lake Tahoe. I'd never been sure if it was faster to take Hwy 80 or Hwy 50 to South Tahoe, so this time we took 80 and I concluded that 50 is definitely much faster. Oh well, Hwy 80/89 is a prettier drive at least!

    Read on below for the day-by-day trip report:

    Trip links:

    Trip stats:
    Distance: 25.3mi
    Total Time: 19hrs 8min
    Elevation gain: 4,055 feet
    Difficulty: 7
    Scenery: 8
    Trail condition/markings/etc: 7 - mostly clearly marked, but faint past Lake of the Woods, and very rocky around Suzie and Heather lakes.
    Wildflowers: 7
    Overall rating: 8

    Last modified 08 February, 2011 MST
    Copyright © 2009 Adam R. Paul
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