20.5 miles of hiking • 4000' elevation gain • 1 night

Suffering through a dayhike wasn't enough last weekend, so I decided that with clear skies expected, I would try for round 2 but with a pack.

Talked my partner into it, and we opted to bring the dog. I packed an extra sleeping bag for our pampered princess, and off we went.

The Sandy crossing was once again okay, the dog easily followed us across on a log.

We got a later start than I would have liked since we slept in a bit Saturday morning, so we started in the heat of the day and through the hoards of Ramona Falls crowd. I masked up when passing groups. For the most part people were respectful and masked up or stepped aside for each other.

We took a long break at Ramona as Zane had never been, purifying water for our long way up. I stayed mostly minimal, I had my eye on a water source I had scouted last weekend to fill everything up before hitting the ridge. To be expected, it was crowded at the falls. We were glad to leave the crowds and get up on the mostly quiet Timberline trail. It was a relatively slow but gentle ascent with a pack, but definitely more of a challenge with the extra weight.

We hit the junction to Yocum and quietly headed up for the long haul. I took a few extra breaks this time, going up in the heat with a pack as opposed to last weekend with clouds.

We stopped at a pond just for a quick rest and my dog managed to find a foul disgusting rotting bullfrog to roll into. She stank so bad, I tried to wash her with what water I had left but it was futile. It would have to wait till we ran into running water.

At our last reliable water source of rushing water, I spent a good hour trying to clean her off so she could at least be clean enough to spend the night in the tent with us. She has a bad track record of doing this while backpacking where there are scarce water sources. If there is something to be rolled in, she will find it.

Hot, angry, biting mosquitoes... my partner was pretty grumpy at this point. He is happy to hike and backpack with me, up to a point. I knew I was pushing his limits, but I promised it would be worth it.

We finally rolled up in to the meadow with the big payoff view of Hood. The one campsite I knew of there was full, and I spotted quite a few people camping in what was technically meadow. I felt disheartened, and wondered if the ridge was full leaving people to camp where they shouldn't. I promised our destination was just a short distance and two switchbacks ahead... his legs would barely move but I got him there. The ridge had multiple established spots still open, and we found what may be one of my favorite camping spots ever.

His mood lifted as we set up camp and ate dinner, and watched an amazing sunset with phenomenal views. Yocum Ridge is pretty incredible.

The night was filled with the sound of ice and rockfall from the glacier, reminding us the mountain is very much alive.