Thursday, September 30, 2010


Day 1 Beside The Big Blue of Peeler Lake 8 miles from trail head

Early am Peeler Lake Blue

Barney Lake Blue..4 miles from the trail head

Dave and I just got back from our long anticipated 8 day backpacking trip into the Hoover Wilderness and Yosemite National Park. We were planning on doing the 50 mile Benson Lake Loop largely because it's a back country trip famous for its deep blue waters. A couple of injuries made us switch to 41 mile Plan B which was an out and back trip to Benson Lake rather than the 50 mile loop. Wise move! We built in layover days at Peeler and Benson Lakes which allowed injuries to heal, gave us time to practice our fly fishing skills and soak in the beautiful blue waters and skies.

Huge Benson Lake...21 miles from the trailhead

But I gotta say, I hate coming home from a back pack trip. Now..I'm blue! It's like I have wilderness withdrawal. It's like I left something of myself out there on the trail. I miss the soft morning stillness. The crystal clear reflections of sky, scraggly pines and mountains on water. I even miss crawling up misshapened trails crammed with all sizes of stones...huge boulders I can hardly lift myself and pack over and the tiny stones that make you tumble.

I'm home, but I can still hear the sound of black bird wings moving the air above my head. I miss the chance but important conversations with fellow backpackers. I slept in a real bed last night, but I can still feel the total relief of finding a place to set up camp after throwing pack and back anywhere stationary after an 8 mile day with a hot 2500 foot climb. I'm home now and IT is all still out there doing its magical, etherial thing. The high, distant back country is still changing the people who accept the gift of getting out into IT, letting it sink in, burrow below the skin, and slide into the heart.

WOW! For both Dave and me, eight days away from home, out on the Benson Lake Loop was an incredible, unforgettable way to log miles for our Wounded Warrior Project and Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund.

We'll be back!


  1. Laurie Mooney AvilaOctober 1, 2010 at 4:32 AM

    Wow, Candyce! You make me want to roll everything up, pack up, and head out to see some of God's country.
    Thank you for all you are doing to support our troops and the families they leave behind. We received more scholarship requests than ever before from the kids of our fallen and disabled American heroes. We'll be giving out far more than 200 college scholarships this year. Thanks for all you are doing to encourage the American people to get some exercise while supporting the children of our military heroes! - Laurie Mooney Avila, Freedom Alliance

  2. Hi Laurie! Thanks so much for keeping us up to date on the scholarship numbers. When I was at the Farmers' Market for our $9.11 campaign, many people were aware of Freedom Alliance and the great work you are doing. It was very encouraging! Let me know when you are coming out to CA for a visit.