3 days; 32 miles; 50lbs; 15,000 feet.
This 4th July we went backpacking in the Trinity Alps. The trailhead was 14 miles up a dirt fire road, which in turn was 40-miles from Weaverville, which is 260 miles from SF. So pretty remote.
We hit the trail late in the day, after driving from SF, avoiding much of the crazy CA heat wave, even so it was in the high 80s when we began. The first day was a lot of climbing to get up to Foster Lake, but well worth it. We passed one group of day hikers, but otherwise had the whole valley to ourselves.
The second day started with a 1500ft decent in 1.5-miles. The meadows at the bottom were amazingly idyllic and we slowly worked our way up the valley, resting in the shade of trees and drinking from mountain streams. Unfortunately Ada had cut her paws up on the decent, so we ended off having to carry her a lot of the way (she's fine now).
After we left the valley it was a long, slow, steep slog. Several sections on the map seemed to go on forever, so when we missed the turn to our evening camp we didn't notice for a few miles. In some ways it was lucky because we ended off close to a fireroad. We struck camp and planned to leave a cache of gear that we'd come back for.
On the final day we hit the trail at sunrise, back tracked, and with some effort, found the right trail (this area is lightly trodden and the trail disappears sometimes for hundreds of feet at a time). Tessa only had Ada in her backpack and mine was a lot lighter, so we made good progress. Still it was hot, steep, and very strenuous.
Finally, we made it back to the car, drove back down the fireroad, and eventually found the other fireroad that led to our cache. It turned out to be another 2-miles and 1700 vertical feet from a gate on the fireroad, so I ended off run/walking to grab the gear in 90+ temperatures.
Glad we had the GPS to track it, otherwise we'd probably have never found it.