Day One-9 Miles 1,000 ft elevation gain


Even though we stayed in Fresno, we still had a 2+ hour drive to the trailhead so we were down at the free hot breakfast offered by the hotel at 7am, which was an awesome meal! We had a slight delay getting to the trailhead when Bri was pulled over and given a warning for speeding…how nice that the guy didn’t give him a ticket because of his impeccable driving record! We were hiking at 11:15 with a pretty decent trail that wasn’t too steep. Half way to camp was the majestic and monsterous Mist Falls which were BOOMING because of all the water right now.

I got a pic of Bri and the kids 100 ft in front of the falls, but u would think they had just been in a rain storm with how soaked they were when they got back to me! The power of nature is unbelievable sometimes!! We couldn’t find a decent place for lunch so we ended up stopping at the side of the trail in the middle of a bunch of switch backs because the kiddos were losing steam. Had Bri’s “famous” home made bars which were fabulous. We still had 4+ miles to go after that so we needed to get a move on. We were trying to walk at a fairly fast pace so I definitely didn’t notice the RATTLE SNAKE hiding in a short bush literally 6″ from the trail!!

All I heard were 3 short maraca sounding shakes as I cruised by. I immediately stopped in my tracks to warn Bri and the kids who were right behind me. We gave the snake a ton of space but also wanted to check him out and take some pix because, of all the backpacking trips we have been on, we have NEVER come across a rattler before!! Our first sighting…crazy! The rest of the trail was pretty uneventful, except for the many stream crossings (with the water filling the trail many times). Made it to Upper Paradise Valley at 5 and did our usual chores of setting everything up, cleaning our dirty bodies, and making awesome salmon pasta for dinner.


Tomorrow will be extremely interesting since the bridge is out over this rigorously rushing river that we need to cross in order to move on. We are hoping it will be a little lower in the morning, but really have no idea and will have to play it totally by ear. We would never want to do anything to jeopardize the safety of the kids or ourselves, that’s for sure! Speaking of the kids…it’s so fun to have them here for our week long trip! What a special treat to be able to share all these great memories with them!!

So now it’s my turn to tell my perspective of the days events…Maddie signing on.  I’m not a huge fan of hiking and backpacking in general as you will hear from anyone you ask who knows me well. So I was kind of dreading this trip, especially since I had just been at Cal getting so comfortable and excited for college. The way up was a little brutal because of all the uphill and stairs (I mean I thought those belonged ONLY in houses not in the wilderness).  Mist Falls was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen and I am not exaggerating when I say that I was dripping from my face and fingers with water. It looked like I either took a shower with clothes on or just sweat half my body weight off. Max and I got to listen to music the last 4 miles or so which helped keep our minds off the uphill terrain, but this was definitely not my favorite hike. Hopefully these next days are better than today, because I am very tired. I’m going to keep as positive an attitude I can because I know how annoying it is when I complain. Also, I’m a little worried about the river tomorrow…wishing I could fly right about now:)