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Rae Lakes Loop: 8th to 10th August 2005

Introduction

It was with no small amount of relief that I canceled my 5-day, 100-mile solo hike and instead started planning a leisurely 5-day, 40-mile jaunt with my wife.  She unexpectedly had been given a week off and I wasted no time in convincing her that spending almost all of it high in the sierras would be a wonderful idea.  So Sunday morning the adventure began as we zoomed from my parents house in the Santa Cruz mountains south down Highway 1 then east on Highway 152 all the way until it ended at Highway 99 (we love our '92 Toyota Camry but with the AC on the fritz my parent's Jetta wins every time, thanks Mom and Dad).  From there we zipped south the Fresno where we turned east on Highway 180 and didn't stop until it ended, at Road's End (incidentally).  

Because the drive went quickly we arrived at the ranger station before 3 pm and were able to get our permit for the hike and buy a map right away rather than waiting for the station to open up the following morning.  It is worth noting that we didn't have a reservation and the map, despite costing only $4, was a very high quality contour map printed on plastic paper.

With all of our "to do" items crossed off we had to decide how to spend the night.  An expensive hotel room at Cedar Grove ($109.00 for 2 queen size beds, $139.00 for a double room with patio, but the campsite was $18.00), 6 miles west of the trailhead at Road's End, was selected to simplify matters.  That night we ate a decent meal at the Cedar Grove lodge and had fun repacking the bear canister. 

One of my goals for the trip was to use only one bear canister for our 5-day, 4-night trip.  Of course the first days food need not go in the canister but that still leaves 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 snacks, and 3 dinners (dinner on the last day isn't required), all for two people.  Our food was as follows: 
   breakfast: oatmeal premixed with powdered milk, brown sugar, 25 raisins, and salt
   lunch: flatbread with peanut butter/jam and Ovaltine premixed with powdered milk
   dinner: chili mac (pasta, vegi chili mix, refried bean mix, olive oil, salt, Tabasco)
   snacks: peanut M&M's, honey sesame sticks, Good & Plenty, pepperoni sticks, & Gatorade
According to my food spreadsheet this would provide 2626 calories per day and weigh 1.4 pounds per person per day.  The actual weight was closer to 1.7 pounds per day; I guess the nutritional information on the food packaging isn't that accurate.

 

And after several attempts we got it all to fit.  We even packed it in reverse order so the food we needed was always on top.

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