Family Summits – The last day of camp

The last day of Family Summits.

Dick's Lake

I  had signed up for Dick’s Lake, another hike in the Desolation Wilderness. It was supposed to be the third hardest hike on the schedule but much, much easier than the first two on the difficulty list. But several people that I hiked with the first two days had second thoughts. So the nine hikers who remained were the few who were not dissuaded by the ruggedness of the hike.

It was steep, made more difficult by the fact that these were strong hikers; I was no longer in the first half of the group. The trail climbed on rocks for 2,000 feet; this was not a horse trail, that I usually associate with western hiking. We passed a view of Eagle Lake and several sign posts. It may be a wilderness area but it was less marked, though not blazed.Pacific Trail sign We were on the Pacific Crest Trail for part of the hike.

We reached Dick’s Lake at 11:30 A.M., earlier than we figured – the joke was that it wasn’t very big but it was cold. Even John, our leader, who had jumped into Susie Lake, just put his feet in the water. If you want to continue the sexual innuendos, he jumped Susie but not Dick. 

On the way out, we met a seasonal forest ranger with full pack on. In park terminology, he roved the trails and looked for hikers in trouble and also for permits. As we climbed down, we saw hikers coming up. The closer we got to the trailhead, the more unprepared the hikers were. The last mile, hikers were carrying a pint of water in hand, sometimes for the whole group.

Chris tying bootsWe had a hiking boot incident. Chris Blank, the president of Family Summit, was the sweep. The soles of his twenty year old boots came apart, first one, then the second. I lent him my emergency shoe laces which he tied around boots but that didn’t last long. Then I remembered my small roll of duct tape. Wrapping the tape around his boots worked the problem, at least until we reached the van.

We arrived back at the resort at 3:30, exactly the same time as the Chickarees. Hannah and her group had gone down to Lake Tahoe beach, for a second swim after spending the morning at the river. So the only obvious way to spend the next hour was to swim in the pool. The sun here, is fierce. It is hard to find a piece of shade at the pool.

The last evening in any camp is the same. Campers talk about the great times and the funny moments. And there are skits, of course. The Chickarees performed a jumping song about “Chickarees jumping on a bed”.

The slide show group had put on an amazing slide show, with music. Hannah was featured several times, with her group, with her beaver teeth and even with me.

Amanda and HannahThen there are goodbyes and more goodbyes. Here, Hannah is with Amanda, one of her Chickaree counselor. Terry, the childcare person, below, was also an important part of Hannah’s stay. Terry and Hannah

What is different about this camp is that it moves location. No one seemed to wait with baited breath to learn about the next location. Even I knew, though unlike most in the know, I only found out on the hike today – the Ozarks in Missouri. I am thrilled because it is an area I was interested in but would not vacation in with Lenny.

No one seemed to know exactly what public land was there – the national park, forest, state park? In fact, I couldn’t even find out what national parks the Summits had been in. It’s like for all the educational aspect of the program, Summitters don’t really care where they are. Maybe I should offer a trip, next year that takes them to a national park, forest and state park. I wonder if these three things are close to one another. 

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