It was a GREAT time! Took my son Mike along and he had a blast, even though he was fighing off a head cold that started just prior. We drove up to the Portal Friday night for burgers and to chat with the other group hikers. Saw Moose, Axeman, White Tundra, the Brewmaster guy and a couple others.
Just before dark we headed to the Meysan Trail parking area and crashed in the back of my truck on thick mattress pads. I slept good but Mike tossed and turned while coughing. At 0300 I walked down to use the campground bathroom. Since both stalls were locked I waited outside. I heard a snort so I turned on my headlamp to see a bear looking at me less than 5 feet away. I gently asked him to move along and thankfully he did.
Met up with everyone in the morning and we were hiking shortly after 0600. Mike struggled a little, but everyone was very helpful and encouraging to him. It was a very easy pace all the way to Meysan Lake. The heat wasn't too bad and we got a breeze when we needed it usually. Richard showed us a better way from Camp Lake to Meysan and then showed some fisherman who thought we were going the wrong way. The had been doing it the hard way for several days.
After I saw Mark go in the water I had to try. He went shorts, shirt and all but I went in my skivvies. I guess he had to top that which is why we call him MarkXXX now. The off trail portion to the summit was uneventful - Richard offered two routes and we went the direction Mike picked. After snacks, pics and a few laughs we headed down.
Again Richard offered two options - a long way or a chute that promised to have fun at the end. We took the chute. Everyone was very patient with Mike as he worked through a few tight spots. Eventually the bulk of the group headed down to the switchbacks to wait for us. About 1/2 way down I knew Mike was tired of listening to dear ole dad so I left him with Richard. Sick as he was Mike had a huge smile when it came to skree ski time. From there it was an easy walk back to the truck.
Mike was so tired and sick feeling at the store he took his burger to go and went to the truck to sleep while I finished up and said goodbye. After a brief stop in town for cold medicine we drove straight home with him sleeping soundly the whole way.
I'm working on getting my pics uploaded to Flickr, but I will post a link when I do.......................DUG