August 25 – 26, 2015
Camping trip and hike to Lukens Lake
Total distance: 2 miles
Hiking was on hold this past summer. Besides planning the wedding, my husband and I spent three months building our backyard living space. In August, I took a break from the work and hot summer days for an impromptu camping trip with Andrew.
We headed to White Wolf in Yosemite National Park, a first-come/first-served campground. Arriving late in the afternoon, I questioned whether or not we would locate an empty space. We did—site #37 that included a fire pit, picnic table, bear box, and was near the restrooms.
Since this was a spur-of-the-moment trip, we did not bring much food. After erecting the tent and stuffing everything scented into the bear proof locker (lip balm, PowerBait, coffee, etc.), we headed up the road to Tuolumne Meadows Lodge for dinner.
At 6:00 our name was called. We were led into the dining tent and seated at one of the round tables set for eight—a surprise to us since we were only a party of two. We were soon joined by a man from Pennsylvania and a married couple from Maryland. After ordering our meals, the topic of conversation revolved around hiking. Also at the table was a middle-aged mom and her daughter from the Bay Area joined by a septuagenarian woman from Tennessee. The three of them met in the 1980s at one of Yosemite’s High Sierra camps and continue to reunite each year in Yosemite.
Dinnertime was an enjoyable experience, and the beef stew was excellent. As we drove back to camp, the setting sun lit the sky on fire.
After a good night’s sleep, we woke to a crisp morning. The heat of the campfire warmed us while we ate cold breakfast rolls with hot coffee. We tossed our belongings into the car and drove to the Lukens Lake trailhead.
This was our third visit to the lake. Andrew has always done well fishing there. You can read about our last trip by clicking: Lukens Lake
While sauntering through the forest, I noticed many unique trees.
We reached the lake after a short, one-mile walk.
It was breezy and cold. I set my chair in the fickle sun while Andrew rigged his fishing tackle.
Shivering, I got up and did jumping jacks to get warm while Andrew floated in the water, bare-chested. He said it was warmer there than on shore.
There was an atmosphere of peace at the lake. I heard birdsong in the nearby mountain ash, and the scratchy squawk of Steller’s jays.
Echoing across the water were the taps of a woodpecker drumming a tree. Unseen frogs croaked. Pinecones broke from their branches and tumbled to the ground. The only man-made sounds were the whip of Andrew’s line, and the splash of water as he paddled.
Delicate dragonflies chased each other at the water’s surface. I brought a book to read, but instead gazed at the water, the meadows, and cloudy sky above: the beauty of God’s creation.
Hours passed and it was time to leave. Although it was cloudy and cool all day, both Andrew and I were mildly sunburned.
This quick trip to the peaceful lake in the woods was a welcomed reprieve from the heat of summer’s days and the backyard work at home.