Since it took us forever to get there and since we had time commitments on Sunday, we decided that Saturday would be the day we packed up camp and headed out of the mountains. We'd tossed around the idea of staying at the campground at Lower Miner Lakes that night and heading home on Sunday, but decided to play that one by ear. So, we woke up on Saturday, had our camp coffee and freeze-dried eggs and began the long process of re-packing everything. We wanted to put everything away correctly and as dry as possible, so we spent some time laying things out in the sun, rolling up air mattresses, etc. It was right around 11am by the time we were finally geared up to hit the trail out.
This is me before heading out
A view back at what we were leaving
Me and Erik. He's eating sunseeds which is why he isn't smiling. He was happy, I promise. Well, for awhile at least. His ankles started to hurt and so we decided that when we got to the green bridge (remember, the one we neglected to turn at on our trip in?) we would stop and put our feet in the cold water for a bit. Hiking out was mostly downhill, so the hiking part wasn't hard, I felt like a million dollars. But I think he ended up with more weight in his pack on the way out and his ankles sometimes hurt on hikes, so together that made him kinda sore. Nearly two hours later we made it to the bridge.
|The bridge you need to turn at to get to Upper Miner Lakes which isn't signed!|
We ate some jerky, gorp and carrots while soaking our feet in the refreshing water. It was pretty cold you couldn't keep them in for more than a couple minutes.
It was a pretty spot for a breather, though. I dipped my hat as we were leaving and Erik dipped his t shirt and hat. That felt pretty refreshing. The sun was intense on our hike out and it was quite a bit warmer than our hike in. I was grateful we were going mostly downhill, going uphill in that sun would've been not much fun.
We crossed paths with three groups of hiker and one group of mountain bikers on our way out, which would be the only ones we saw the whole time we'd been there besides the helpful hikers on our way in. We didn't see one person the whole time we were camped back there, it was nice! We made it to our car after another 30-40 minutes after the bridge. It felt so good to take off my boots and put on my chacos and to sit in the comfort of the car. We still had to drive out on that unmaintained road, which took nearly an hour, but hallelujah we made it out without damage to the car and without me having a panic attack.
Once we'd made that far we decided to just continue on home. The Lower Miner Lake campground was not very pretty compared to where we'd just stayed and it was $7/night. We decided we'd much rather just go home, take showers and rent a movie. So, we stopped in Wisdom for a burger and fries before heading home.
And you know what we talked about nearly the whole time we hiked and drove home? About what equipment we needed for the girls to join us when we do this again, because we will be doing it again. Although my legs are tired and I had moments of anxiety, this whole trip was just a wonderful experience. I loved camping out in the woods away from everyone and everything. I loved cooking over the camp-stove and fire. I just enjoy being in the beauty of God's creation. I cannot wait to do it again!