I love my Gossamer Gear Gorilla backpack for a weekend or an extended backpack. My Gorilla has hitched a ride happily on my back for over 1,000 miles.
- Comfortable for the big mile days with an egg crate foam pad
- Supportive for when you have to carry extra water or multiple days of food
- Extra attention to detail in design: water bottle pockets, big mesh pocket to quickly stuff extra gear and clothes, big hip belt pockets to stash camera, iPhone, snacks and sunscreen, top zipper for maps, first-aid, or food.
If you are looking for a larger volume pack or would like a pack that fits a bear canister easily, check out the Mariposa model. My husband Dan loves this pack and used it on Scotland’s Great Outdoors Challenge 2014. Or perhaps you are looking for a small daypack for work, running, or a replacement for a purse, then check out the Quiksak. Wired used this little gem on our Death Valley adventures.
What’s on my wish list? The Type 2 Utility Backpack (I hear this back is awesome for day-hiking) and the Quiksak.
Rockin’s Gear List
Check out my gear list for spring, summer, and fall backpacking. The list is packed with awesome gift ideas for the outdoor enthusiast.
“Punctuated with idyllic waterfalls and irrigated by a lovely perennial creek, the deep narrows of Darwin Canyon are among the most lush and beautiful in the park. The short walk to the lower waterfall is a wonderful illustration of the miracle of water in the desert. The challenging climb through the serene upper narrows to China Garden Spring is a gem for the experienced hiker.”
~from Michel Digonne’s Hiking Death Valley
Lower Darwin Falls
My Death Valley adventure continued with Wired into Darwin Canyon. Drop n’ Roll traveled back in the evening to Lone Pine after climbing Telescope Peak. Wired and I spent the night at Emigrant Campground enjoying cooking dinner under the night stars and sharing trail stories with two class of 2012 PCT hikers. Such a great community.
We headed out early morning for a quick exploration of the canyon.
Hiking to the lower falls is easy, flat with straight forward navigation. The fun begins after leaving the first falls with ledges and talus to scale. The guidebook description was very helpful and the upper section is not for those afraid of heights, but so worth it.
In my book, scrambling up and around Darwin Falls IS a must do when visiting Death Valley National Park.
TRIP DATE November 29, 2014
LENGTH About 2 1/2 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN Less than 700 feet
TRAIL HEAD 1 mile west of Panamint Springs, then 2.5 miles on graded road
DIFFICULTY Difficult with some ledge and class 3 climbing
PERMIT None required
BEST TIME TO HIKE Spring, fall, and winter
GUIDE Hiking Death Valley by Michel Degonnet pages 505-510
Maneuvering the ledges
Rockin’ overlooking upper falls
Wired climbing the loose talus
Amazing small pool above the falls
Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
During Thanksgiving break, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting up with hiker friends, Drop n’ Roll and Wired to climb Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park. Both friends were visiting Love Note and Burly’s abode in Lone Pine, CA. Many of you may remember these fun characters from my Continental Divide trek in summer of 2013.
Telescope Peak has been on my list to climb for several years. It is the tallest mountain in Death Valley and is a prominent peak viewed from the Sierras. The entire route is on trail with easy navigation.
The day was not only full of hiking, but also an abundance of trail talk, trip dreaming and planning, relationship analysis, and some shenanigans #streakthepeak. The summit offers sweeping views of Badwater and the High Sierras, which in itself is worth the climb. Just think… a bird’s-eye view of the lowest (in the Western Hemisphere) and highest (in the contiguous United States) in one neat spot.
To celebrate a great day, we headed over to soak in the sunset at Mesquite Dunes east of Stovepipe Wells.
It doesn’t get better than this. :)
TRIP DATE November 28, 2014
PEAK ELEVATION 11,049
LENGTH About 14 miles round trip
ELEVATION GAIN 2,916 feet
TRAIL HEAD Mahogany Flat campground (8,133′), last 2 miles up to the campground is on rough dirt road. High clearance vehicles are recommended.
DIFFICULTY Moderate on well-maintained trail
PERMIT None required
BEST TIME TO HIKE Spring and fall
LINKS Summit Post, Park Service, bird and hike.com
Early morning at the Telescope Peak trail head
Drop n’ Roll, Wired, and Rockin’ (Telescope back right)
Wired and Drop n’ Roll on the way up.
Rockin’ it at the top
View of summit looking northwest
Drop n’ Roll, wired, and Rockin’ on the summit
Sunset at Mesquite Dunes
Sporting our Gossamer Gear packs at Mesquite Dunes
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the
bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds
in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Boy howdy it is about time I posted a new blog post. Don’t ya think? Oh how I have missed you, my dear readers.
No excuses. Please forgive my absence.
BUUUUUUUUUTTTTT I do hope most of you have followed me the last couple of “Silent on the Blog Months” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Flickr. I’ve been very busy there with family and friends: hiking, biking, and climbing.
Time to get back into the blogging saddle.
Look for lots of upcoming posts featuring outdoor trip reports, gear, and tips.
Thank you readers for hanging in there with me.
Fall is in full force in the eastern Sierras. Now is the time to pack up your camera, cool weather clothes and hit the trail. Some of my favorite places to visit are: McGee Creek Canyon, North Fork Pine Creek, Lundy Canyon, and June Lake.
That’s pretty neat.
Lots of shenanigans filled our Continental Divide Trail trek last summer.
Many of you may recall that I was hiking with my son, Silly Chili, Love Note, Burly, Wired, Drop n’ Roll, Ninja, and Sweetfish.
While we were hiking Silly Chili lugged an iPad and books for 2 online classes he was taking for the nursing program he entered last August. Last week he graduated with his second bachelor degree, Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Concordia University. He now is known as bachelor, bachelor, bachelor Grant. I am so very excited and proud of him. Congratulations buddy!
Silly Chili Graduates
So I’ll bet you all can just guess how we are celebrating. Yep…hoisting backpacks and heading into the mountains.
We are on our way for a 2 day jaunt. We both agreed our trip needed trail and cross-country, lots of miles, maybe a peak to climb, remote, and of course in the high country.
Just for fun, below is a Google Earth view of our loop trip without the waypoints.
Anyone know where we are heading?
Hint: in the Sierras of course.
Have a great weekend everyone!Thanks for following us along.
Guess where we’re going?