Posted by: Matt | August 14, 2009

Chilly Night, Perseids so Worth it (#1391)

Wednesday night the girls and I went up to Beverley Turnpike and ran up and over the pass toward Ingles Lake and then back again. The mileage wasn’t too great, but we had a great time, got to see the peak of the Perseid meteor shower before the moon rose and without any cloud cover, and came back to the house early the next morning tired and happy. I think that Gigi may have exceeded her ability and age on this one too, which contributed to the slower speeds and shorter distances. My girl is getting old.

We didn’t make it to the trail head until around 7:00 or 7:30 and then we puttered around a bit getting everyone ready for the steady run to the top of the pass. I was feeling low on energy when we started so I took the first 15 minutes or so to get into the run. Pepper was bursting with energy, but stayed behind me at heal. There is bear spore all over the place deep in the Beverley valley and the dogs paused from point to point to give it a sniff.

As we climbed the pace picked up and everyone seemed to be doing ok. We neared Beverley pass right about the time the sun went down behind the western range of mountains. The trail to this point is very well taken care of. Probably the best water bars in the whole state if you ask me. Someone, up to the pass, has made a number of trips to this section of trail to ensure that the maintenance gets done, and gets done right.

Mountains toward Stafford Creek

Mountains toward Stafford Creek

The trail down the back side of the pass toward Ingalls Creek is in good shape too, that is if you make it a habit of walking or running in partially eroded ditches with boulders sprinkled across them most of the way. This is not hyperbole. It’s really that bad. This segment of trail should not be attempted (up or down) by anyone who is not in good condition and who won’t mind slowing down a bit. The views are incredible so the passage is worth the extra effort. No photos from this segment I was navigating most of it in the dark.

We descended about half way toward Ingalls creek and Gigi was really starting to lag. I could hear running water off to the left of the trail and guiding my girls over to get a drink. We parked for a while I made up my mind what to do. I knew we weren’t that far into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, or even that far from the trail head, and I really wanted to see some meteors falling. Gigi looked refreshed after her drink and so we decided to turn back to the pass and make a go for some exposed ground up high.

Unnamed Peak to East of Beverley Turnpike

Unnamed Peak to East of Beverley Turnpike

The slog back up the backside of the Turnpike was an effort in the dark. Gigi soldiered on, but I could tell by the time we had ascended the pass that she was due for a good long break. I got out my space blanket and prepared to bivouac for a while. Gigi took up guard position at my feet and Pepper, who was cold, curled up inside the space blanket with me. The three of us watched meteors fall and sniffed the air for a good long while.

Finally, I was getting down right cold. I could have repositioned and been warmer, but I knew the truck was only a few miles down the trail and both the dogs were starting to show their discomfort. The moon was coming over the eastern mountains. We packed up and ran down the trail. Gigi and I tried something new on this segment. I put a small head lamp around her neck and turned it on thinking I’d at least be able to spot her in the dark. Instead she used it to find her way and seemed excited that she had a new toy. Pepper grumbled, but with both girls at my heals all the way down, I wasn’t the least bit upset. She can use the flashlight next time.


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