Yes, I am back from the Wilderness and home again.
Can't beat the scenery - that's for sure! This is the view hiking up to Cascade Pass.
We even saw some ice fall!
Crossing a talus field...
And the view from the pass into Pelton Basin.
Me at the pass - trying to prevent my knee injury from coming back. Didn't work... but carrying 50 pounds for 5-9 miles a day will do that to you.
What goes up must come down.
And we spent the next few night in the valley far below.
We crossed many bridges (this bridge used to be a vehicle bridge for the Stehekin Road that came quite a ways up the valley but has since washed out. Now the road is 10 miles shorter than it used to be - and whether or not it should be rebuilt is quite the controversy: it might involve moving wilderness boundaries, disturbing habitat, and most definitely will cost a lot of money which the Park Service doesn't have, though it gives people access who couldn't otherwise visit those places. It will interesting to see how it all turns out - the issue is up for vote in the Senate!)
Later we decided to climb down under the bridge.
And jump in the glacial fed waters!
It. Was. COLD. And only felt good once you were out - though it is nice to rinse off after hiking for 4 days.
And there were mountains, beautiful mountains.
And food - of course! I packed a ton of it! The stove I have is a MSR SuperFly stove and I love it because of how simple it is to use and how compact it is. All you have to do is screw the stove onto the fuel canister, turn the handle and light the stove: no priming or messing around, just instant flame, the fuel is cheap and you can find it almost anywhere. Downfall: non-reusable fuel canisters. =( The cookware I have is from REI and I've been very happy with it - it's lightweight, the stove fits inside the pot with my bowl and spoon, they are non-stick, and the lid doubles as a fry pan. The set comes with 2 sizes as well!
The bowl is Squishy and fits nicely wherever I want it to go, and the food-grade silicone means I can add boiling water without worrying about hazardous substances seeping into my food. The Sporks are great as well - light and multi-functional (spoon, fork AND knife that cuts cheese with ease), though a friend's broke on the trip. I've heard lots of stories about their lack of durability - so be gentle.
I was very pleasantly surprised with the dehydrated meals the Co-op offered - such as this Black Bean and Sweet Corn Chowder (just add boiling water!) that we mixed with smoked salmon. Delicious! It was great to have organic, healthful, nutrient dense and tasty meals in the backcountry! My favorite was the Bean Burrito Mix - pinto beans, corn, cheese and spices made for a great burrito - just add tortilla. Well, first boiling water, then tortilla.
And did I mention that there were gorgeous mountains?!?!?