If you want to get away from the Labor day traffic and craziness, just hop on into your car and come on the Taking it Eazy hike. Yes, on this United States Federal Holiday, Americans usually relax, celebrate or observe the economic and social achievements of our workers. The major part we Americans celebrate is this, but the specifics are as follows: it was a labor union movement that advocated the eight-hour day movement: eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest.
We attempted to observe this holiday by going hiking in Kings Canyon National Park in order to advocate twenty-four hours of recreation. This was before we started on our long journey from 5,000 feet to 10,000 feet.
With three blazing wildfires in the distance, smoke obstructing our view, boiling temperature, five of us left on a two day expedition up the mountain. About an hour into our hike, the smoke was really getting to our lungs. Our group of five turned into three just like that. It was not till another hour or so that we climbed through the cloud of smoke and finally had clear sky and fresh air.
With the smoke under us, we could finally concentrate on the beautiful long hike that we were about to endure. If I could have counted how many switch backs there were on this trail, I would get to the point of complete boredom. Up and up we went on a continuous incline that seemed like it would never finish. Finish we did, but not till the sun abandoned us.
In complete darkness, we got to our camping spot after 9.1 miles of sheer hiking. What do you think we did? Yes, set up tent, cooked our dinner and hit the sack. There was an absence of sound.
When we woke up and unzipped our tents, we took a look outside. It was a landscape beyond all landscapes. We sipped our coffee on the boulders near a pond. We sat on the edge of the pond and posed, taking a few photos of our shadows on the water, when suddenly we caught a glimpse of an adequately sized fish, if you compare it to the schools of mini fish around.
We got our gear. One cast! No more than five minutes later, we caught a fish. Second cast! Not even two minutes went by and we caught our second fish. We cleaned, cut and cooked our fish and had ourselves a meal. Swam a little after.
Our adventures in the basin were over; we headed back the way we came from. First, up we had to go about 1,000 feet, then finally there was no more incline to look forward to; it was only downhill from here. First we had to take care of something…
Since we were unable to have campfires in the basin in that we were over the tree line, we hiked down about a quarter of the way and set up camp there. We collected our wood for the campfire, ate our dinner and started our campfire. We brought along a special kind of Hungarian sausage. After carving three long sticks, we put our slices of sausage on and into fire and had the most deliciously cooked sausage in the Kings Canyon National Park; that’s for sure!
The next day, we headed on our journey down the mountain. You know what? We thought this was going to be the easiest part of our hike. Well, it was. But, the three of us didn’t just get to peacefully backpack down. I’ll tell you why.
The smoke from the three wildfires had definitely thickened from the first day. We were unable to see where we were heading; only what was near us was visible. The smoke induced headaches upon all three of us. But what we didn’t know was that an hour ahead of us, we would be literally racing down the hill to get away from horseflies. Using our hands as windshield wipers, millions of them all around us were slamming into our faces and up our noses. We endured this the last four miles of the Copper Creek Trail in the Kings Canyon National Park. Never in my life was I this agitated by anything else in the world. It was at the bottom of the trail head when the three of us could sit down and breathe in what just happened. It felt like an accomplishment of a lifetime. Out of the 72 hours we were on our journey, I would only delete the last four hours and go back to menu and replay over and over again.
I did this all with the help of my personal physical therapist and my awsome argentinian shoes.