After fifteen minutes or so of driving in the dark (stopping on the way to gawk at the outline of the mountains surrounded by stars), we found the Lone Fir Campground and were shocked by how many people were there – we thought we would be the only ones stupid enough to go camping on such a butt-numbingly freezing weekend.
We found a site (right next to the bathrooms, it would make the nocturnal calls of nature easier to bear in the cold) and got a campfire started as fast as possible. Then we lingered in front of said fire for three whole hours, chatting, eating soy dogs and generally enjoying the feeling of warmth.
The night was surprisingly comfortable; in fact I have never slept so well in a tent before. We brought several tons of extra blankets, but in the end, all it took was an extra sleeping bag and a real pillow for me to feel nice and toasty and sleep through the night.
In the morning we spent another four hours in front of the campfire before finally peeling our butts off the camping chairs and heading out on an easy, relaxing and very scenic hike to Blue Lake. Excellent views for minimal effort, and we got a good look at the route Carlos climbed up Liberty Bell in August.
I think this was my favorite weekend of the entire year (so far!). It was great to finally hang out with Carlos again, and to hike with Tom, Tisha and Steve, even though we ended up camping separately. Add a feast of larch trees and a bunch of lakes, and that’s pretty much my recipe for pure happiness. The campfire didn’t hurt either, I am officially a car camping convert. Big thanks to all my fellow larch hunters for making this such a memorable week!