This Pine Ridge Trail adventure into the Ventana wilderness as always was for Wayne , Sierra ( my dog ) and I a huge success . The weather was cool and sunny . The nights were cold with temperatures as low as 28 degrees which made for good sleeping and enjoyment of warm bonfires . My Marmot 30 degree bag was perfect . Day time highs were in the low 70 s . Perfect hiking weather !
My pack for this 4 day adventure weighed 30 lbs. and my dog Sierra carried a 12 lb. pack ( 5 lbs. of which was my booze , camp stove ) she also carried her water , food , shoes , and jacket . she is now 2 years old and as she matures I give her more chores to do ! Now I wish I had two German Shepard Dogs . By this fall Sierra will carry an additional 2 lbs. of my load .
It was a little early for the spring color and the brilliant Fall colors were all gone . Water was low but plentiful .
Our adventure route was China Camp to Pine Ridge camp , we returned via the ridge trail to Pine valley using the Bear Basin Connector trail , and then day hiked the Hiding Canyon trail . We also spent time in the all natural amphitheater behind Jack English cabin .
The highlight of the trip was a surprise dinner prepared by two friends Bill and Dennis . In addition to their standard backpacking gear , they carried while hiking up from the church creek ranch for a total of seven miles , one pound steaks for each of us , three premium bottles of red wine , bread , two large filets of Salmon , and a couple of pounds of shrimp . These guys are real studs !
I supplied the before dinner booze thanks to Sierra .
Dinner was fantastic !!!!!!!
All and all the adventure was great but I don't recommend hiking the Hiding trail or the Bear Basin Trail unless you enjoy tough grades , lots of dead tree falls , and lack of switch backs .
The only reason we hiked these trails is we lack common sense and enjoy rugged challenges .
Additional note , Sierra , my dog , lost 1.5 lbs. I lost 2.5 lbs and Wayne gained 2 lbs. I suggested to Wayne that maybe he had insufficient bowel movements and he responded that was it for sure as his wife Pam says he is full of it .
Enjoy the photos .
Sierra and I
sunset from Ridge camp
sunrise fron ridge camp
westward view from ridge camp
mountain lion track
Joe unloading Sierra at day end
Sierra sitting on air field at Jack's ccabin
portrait taken by Wayne
Junipero Serra from Ridge Trail , our lunch spot
Salinas Valley From trail
Wayne and I feasting on rib eye steak, wine bottle
in foreground . Pine Valley Dinner .
Wayne loves tree falls
Pine Valley from ridge trail west of divide
young hikers we met
Wayne admires new sign at ridge
Joe and Sierra climbing over fall
Sierra waiting for help in climbing with load
Sure glad she knows command " jump "
Wayne singing the doggie song for guests . Wayne missed his calling . He would have excelled as an entertainer . For those of you who don't know , Wayne also plays the guitar .