The weather was blissfully sunny, the temperature mild, and the snow deep. Even with our group of 7, snowshoeing to the Grub Hut in the Sierra Nevada's was a peaceful escape into wilderness.
The Grub Hut is a back country hut located near Lake Tahoe and managed by the Sierra Club. Built in honor of Peter Grub, a young man deeply connected to nature, it is a fabulous destination for people who want to spend a little time in the woods and sleep in the comfort of a shelter.
|The entrance to the second floor. We descended to the first floor entrance on path chiseled through the snow.|
The boys will say they are not fans of backpacking. They like the time off of school. They do not like walking miles with heavy packs on their backs.
Devin, in spite of himself, is a natural backpacker. He has a logical brain that tells him in order to get 'from here to there,' he just has to put one foot in front of the other. He also has a lot of strength and endurance. His energy stays at a consistent hum, and he is often at the head of the pack., In fact, I think he could truck along indefinitely -- contented and peaceful -- as long as there were enough snacks to munch on along the way.
Timothy, at his core, is a soul who longs to be free. He prefers to walk without shoes, mosey on a zig-zag trail defined by his curiosity, and experience life through total tactile immersion. When the spirit moves him, he will move along at a somewhat faster pace. Still in a zig-zag path only with an incorporated bounce, bobble, shimmy, bop, hop, or jump..
Through trial and error, I have discovered hiking with energetic family friends provides just the right motivation to help them find their way.
The three mile hike in was easy and fun even with snowshoes. We were pleasantly removed from the beeps and buzzes of personal technology -- and still not so very far away at all.
|A clear sign we were not the only ones playing in the snow.|
After a quick rest, we took off exploring.
|Basking in a warm sun on a snowy mountain is perfect.|
|This snow cave had three 'beds' and an ice box.|
|Popping out of the snow cave's ventilation hole...|
We found a place where coyotes hang out; a great overlook and perfect spot (if I was a coyote) to howl into the night sky.
|Lots and lots of coyote poop.|
|Amanda pretending to be a coyote.|
|The guys imagining another day on the mountain when they remembered skis.|
The Hut is a wonderful shelter. Pretty plush when you compare to tent camping. It is solid, has a hot wood stove, plenty of stacked wood, a camp stove, solar panels for 4 hours of light downstairs, and a 'drop' toilet. It does not have propane, TP, or running water. We'd brought two small stoves of our own, remembered TP, and were blessed with plenty of snow.
When we got back at the Hut, Amanda began the process of collecting water to hydrate our meals and ourselves. We set up a relay of people to filter water and rotated pots of boiling water from the little stove to a big holding pot on the wood stove.
This time I was careful to get our socks and boots close enough to the fire to dry, but not so close that they were singed. I am happy to report all socks and boots came home with no more holes than what they started with.
We watched the sky go dark while kids slid down slopes, pretended to slip on banana peels, and backlit the snow. And closed our eyes after a little table top guitar and a read aloud courtesy of Amanda.
We went to sleep with a nearly full moon and awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the meadow.
We are planning to go back again a little soon -- and stay out longer on our next trip.
We also relearned the kindergarten"Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean it is a good idea" lesson upon our return. They really do mean it when they say No Parking by the trail head. ;-)