Tagged: hiking

Mt. Shasta

Over the labor day weekend, I had gone to Mt. Shasta for a 2 day camping/hiking trip. Well, technically we weren’t really at Mt. Shasta itself — we camped at Castle Craig’s campgroup which is around half way between Mt. Shasta and Lake Shashta.

We started off quite late on friday evening (around 7-8) and we took our time getting there — making some nice long breaks in between, having fun eating at Denny’s, hunting down coffee at starbucks and generally just having fun. So it took us almost 5 hours to get there (which means we reached there in the dead of the night at around 2 am).

It was a bit of a challenge to set up tents at 3 in the morning with just flashlights to go by and without waking anyone else up, but fortunately we managed it. By the time we got into our sleeping bags, it was almost 4:30. Naturally we got up late as well.

After lazying around a bit and having had a hearty breakfast, we set out for our first hike. There was some argument over wether we should do the hardest trail first (it was very very hot that afternoon, and it was already past noon) or the easy trails on saturday and do the hard one early sunday morning. After much debate, we decided to just get over with the strenuous trail first.

And boy, what a trail it was! PSD, Asim and I were at the head of the pack. Reaching the peak of Craig’s Dome almost took forever. Though the trail itself is small distance wise (around 3 miles one way), the elevation it climbs is not (2200 ft). It took us almost 3 hrs to get to the top. But it was worth it.

The views were awesome. We had a fun time talking about a whole bunch of things on our way up there. I found a suweet spot to sit on (a wide ledge on one of the rocks overlooking the valley) and then we waited for the everyone else to catch up. After an hours break, we began our descent.

The downward journey was easier, but irritating simply because it was so much effort to maintain control and keep ourselves from running downhill. Eventually we did reach the bottom. Went back to the campsite and cooked up a hearty dinner.

The next morning we woke up (relatively) early. After a short hike by the sacramento river, it was decided that we would drop Lassen in favor of a drive to Mt. Shasta. So after a light brunch, we drove upto Mt. Shasta, enjoyed the views for some time, and then started our journey back home.

We reached back around midnight on Sunday. It was a fun trip. But settling accounts on this trip is going to be a major PITA because of the REI screw up. Ah well.


Big Basin

I had a great this time weekend hiking/camping. There were 6 of us: moi, [[http://www.crhc.uiuc.edu/~gaonkar/|Shravan]], [[http://www.cs.duke.edu/~grit/|Laura]], Yin, Ginger and Ryan.

We left Friday evening and camped out at [[http://employeeprograms.hp.com/little-basin/|Little Basin]]. My camping experience this time was much better than the last—the camp site was much more like the traditional camping ground I had in mind, there weren’t too many people around, the jungle was lush and dense, the weather was nice, it wasn’t hot or dry and we even had an interesting incident with a racoon!

I also learnt a lot about traditional camping practices here in the US—like s’mores or the common breakfast and lunches people have, or quickly setting up a tent and so on.

On Saturday we drove to the [[http://www.bigbasin.org/|Big Basin State Park]] and hiked on an eight mile trail (actually we looped across walking on one trail the first half and coming back through a second one on the latter half). There were some nice waterfalls on the way, and we had a good time walking and talking and lunching together.