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Re: Fleet Weekend

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Fleet Weekend
June 16, 2015 08:27PM
While the Great Pink One was hiking with some other forum regulars, JKW and I took a few not-quite-as-certifiable hiking buddies on a trip to balmy Kibbie Lake.

Five-ish short months ago...

The hike to Kibbie Lake was uneventful--warm, mostly dry, with just a few areas where the maintenance crews will have to do some cutting.

Where the trail crosses Kibbie Creek, we stayed on the west side and roughly followed the lake's shore. The creek was easily crossable without getting your shoes/feet/boots/flippers wet.

The lake level was a bit lower than our last trip, exposing a bit more of the shore in places.

To escape the mid-day heat, after setting up camp we took a swim in the lake--the water was cool, but not at all cold--and definitely not JKW cold. After the swim, we inflated the floatilla and hit the water.

When I came back from exploring, the Pringles can was empty :-(

We basically just floated and boated around a bit, checked out the far shore and cliffs, and relaxed.

There was a bit of an afternoon breeze, but it lasted only an hour or so--it of course was strongest while paddling against it, then it all but died on the return trip.

It was hot on the open water, so after returning to shore, we swam in the lake again to cool off. After that, it was time for dinner.

The evening was mild, so after dinner (chicken fajitas!), we hit the calm water for an evening boat. The forecast had mentioned a slight chance of showers, but for a change, they were not to be this weekend.

During the third float, a small family of ducklings crossed the lake. (No, I don't know why, ask the Chick-on is looking at you!) I tried to keep up with them, but they were quite fast.

Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were moderately bad when we returned to camp (we probably should have stayed out on the water longer), but the sunset was nice.

The night had been very mild, as was the calm, warm morning.

After a bit of a feast for breakfast (breakfast burritos!), we hit the mirror-smooth lake for one last boating adventure. The water had been calm enough that the pollen that had fallen on it formed small clumps and splotches.

After shuffling boats around a bit, everyone was successful in reaching the far shore and touching the cliffs.

Supai people: if you do sponsorships or are looking for flat water ambassadors, please PM me :-)

We paddled around the lake a bit more, but we wanted to leave enough time for a bit of non-aquatic adventure.

After deflating the fleet and breaking camp, we headed up cross-country towards Lookout Point. The route was decent by post-fire Kibbie Ridge standards; perhaps not so much for those new to this whole "crawling over logs and swimming through shrubbery" thing.

There were of course a few places with extensive smooth granite--wonderful for camping for those not carrying pack rafts.

Of course no cross-country path in this part of Yosemite would be complete without head-deep shrubbery. This section was fortunately not very long.

We followed open granite for as long as we could, but eventually we entered burnt-out forest. The underbrush wasn't too bad, but there was enough deadfall and random manzanita skeletons to keep things interesting.

There was enough of a breeze to keep us from being too hot--and to keep the bugs mostly under control.

We eventually reached a small ridge before the final push to Lookout Point, which revealed a cloud-free sky all around.

At Lookout Point we had lunch in the shade, then snuck a few peeks at the Flintstone area and Cherry Bomb Gorge before hitting the trail back towards the trailhead.

The hike back to the trailhead was uneventful--the trail is getting to be a bit overgrown in places and there are plenty of downed trees across it.

Overall, a very nice and relaxing trip... Next weekend, not so much.

Postscript: Of course, not everyone understands all the hoopla over boundary marker hunting--I mean, they're on tall metal posts and are surrounded by large piles of rock... how hard can they be to find?

They are also on the Yosemite border, reducing the search space to a single dimension.

More Pictures
avatar Re: Fleet Weekend
June 16, 2015 08:34PM
I forgot to mention the bugs in my post! Yes, they were pretty bad in the evening, both at Wawona campground and at Ostrander. I found them pretty bad at Ostrander Sunday morning as well, not as bad in the morning car-camping at Wawona.
Re: Fleet Weekend
June 16, 2015 09:08PM
We have hiked with L in the past several times, including my birthday hike two years ago to Moose Lake! No small feat! He is now 75! Doesn't act like it. The man is amazing!!! He's an inspiration and I hope to be able to hike like him when I'm that age!

In the past, we have called my friend, R, "newbie". Well, this is now her third backpacking trip. We had to cancel on her several times already this year because of weather and scheduling issues. But this time, we made it! And it wasn't the easiest trip ever. The hike into Kibbie was as good as any hike into Kibbie is on trail with a bit of XC goodness finding a decent campsite. The second day, she got a 2+ mile taste of Emigrant XC goodness. Mild by the worst of Emigrant standards, but still more than newbies are used to... by far. And she handled it with aplomb! Her attitude makes a difference. She's still wrapping her brain around the realities of hiking, but she's doing a fabulous job! We were bummed her oldest, almost 7, wasn't able to join us this round, but we will be taking her out soon!

I dunno. I like long hard days of hiking on trail. Or shorter harder days off trail. Or a good mix, with a lot of hard work... But... gotta say... the lounging around on the boats and swimming multiple times in a day... it was super-decadent. I could easily get spoiled and put my foot down and say "ONLY IF I GET TO NAP IN THE BOAT!" But I won't.. I think.

The only weird bits, were the bugs. One BIT me on the leg. It HURT. It was NOT a mosquito. This happened after my first swim. And right after the bite, I got harassed by a bee. And on the second boat, spiders were flying in from everywhere, and I hate to say I had to squish a few that were just intent on getting at my face and body. Didn't enjoy that so much, but I quickly fell back into a bobbing trance once immediate issues were dealt with...

Thanks to E and A and Chick-on for loaning us extra boats so that our friends could try it out.

Gotta say, the Supai Adventure Gear offerings are definitely the favorite boat of all who have tried them. The Blue Bomber and the Kylmit-designed Ruta Locura boat is just not attracting folks as much. E and A bought a Supai Canyon Flatwater II (my little red boat) and are waiting for the Matkat to get back in stock. R is seriously considering buying the Matkat as well now.

Did Basilbop mention the face flies. The little buggers were annoying enough on the hike back that the headnets came out...

But even with the bug issues - which were albeit rather minor - this trip was relaxing, soothing, and totally enjoyable, no small thanks to having great friends with whom to share it!

NOTE: Chick-on was missed. I'm sure he would have loved boating and swimming in Kibbie! But he was off having adventures of his own with some other forum regulars!

Edit: L corrected me. He's 75 now! I can't even believe he is in his 70s at all! He is just freaking fabulous and is truly an inspiration to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2015 07:48AM by JustKeepWalking.
Re: Fleet Weekend
June 16, 2015 09:15PM
One other thing...

We met up with Chick-on, mrcondron (Old Dood), JRinGeorgia and his daughter A at OD's in Manteca on the way out. We got the loaner boats at that time and continued on to have breakfast together at McD's in Oakdale. It was great meeting JR finally. And A was just amazing. Apparently the nickname Firecracker might be applied to her. She knows how to dish it out at the pink chicken! smiling smiley

We are wishing them the best as they finish their trip. More in their trip report, I'm sure. I hope they are enjoying the great weather!
avatar Re: Fleet Weekend
June 21, 2015 08:27PM
Great meeting you, A, L, and R as well!
Re: Fleet Weekend
June 17, 2015 07:54AM
JKW. I was thinking about asking what boats you all used and there was my answer. If you had to pick one now, which one would you buy - the flatwater or the matkat? Thanks for the trip report, you all have so much fun.
Re: Fleet Weekend
June 17, 2015 08:50AM
I am 5'5" and 130.
I'd still get the Supai Canyon Flatwater in red for me. It fits me well and I love it.

Anyone bigger should consider the Matkat.

By 6', you definitely want Matkat, I'd say.

Designs are identical. Matkat just slightly bigger.
Re: Fleet Weekend
June 17, 2015 09:06PM
Thanks, I am only 5'2" but my hubby is 6 ft. You all look like you have so much fun so we would like to get them.
avatar Re: Fleet Weekend
June 17, 2015 10:06PM
Thanks, I am only 5'2" but my hubby is 6 ft. You all look like you have so much fun so we would like to get them.

Those are ultralight boats designed to be carried in one's backpack.

If you just want an inflatable boat that you can use on easier accessible lakes like Tenaya Lake or Tioga Lake or along the Merced River, then you could purchase an Intex or Sevylor inflatable boat for about one-eighth the price of these ultralight boats.

If I recall correctly, chick-on's original inflatable "packraft" was the smallest boat that Sevylor made, which unfortunately they stopped producing.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2015 12:23AM by plawrence.
Re: Fleet Weekend
June 17, 2015 11:07PM
I was looking for something that packs up small because we take so much camera stuff on our trips that there is not much room for other things. We don't always want to put the box on the roof all the time. I will look at the ones you suggested. Thanks

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2015 11:08PM by parklover.
avatar Re: Fleet Weekend
June 17, 2015 06:39AM
Very funny.

(where's the hammer?)

This is a boundary marker...

This is Chick-on is looking at you! at a boundary marker:
Cry baby

(btw... you do realize you guys have been at Kibbie 4 times this year, right)
(pretty much is bordering into the "can do anytime" realm)
tongue sticking out smiley

w/r to JR n Daughter... time to chick-on bomb ur postie...
tongue sticking out smiley

Hope they are having fun ...

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Fleet Weekend
June 17, 2015 07:01AM
(btw... you do realize you guys have been at Kibbie 4 times this year, right)
(pretty much is bordering into the "can do anytime" realm)
tongue sticking out smiley

Making up for lost time! First pass thru Kibbie area years ago... It didn't catch my fancy... But have finally come around! Boat, Swim, Yumm.
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