The plane landed 26 hours late. Gray picked me up, hung over and jet-lagged at the airport. We had 40 minutes to get to a boat launch somewhere in Desolation Wilderness to catch a boat ride to the trailhead. Gray is a health nut, but figured the best way for us to fuel up for the trip was to swing by the In-N-Out for a burger and fries on the road.
We arrived with maybe 10 minutes to spare. I dumped the contents of my bags into a borrowed backpack, and struggled just getting it in the boat. It was 80 pounds of clothing, gear, boots, snowboard, and camera. I forgot the 3 lbs of chocolate that I’d bought at the airport with my airline meal vouchers in the truck.
It was the first time I’d ever worn a pack heavy enough that I had to kneel on the ground just to wrestle it onto my back. I had no idea what the hike was going to be like. It was hard, and it was steep, and that backpack never got any lighter. I asked if anybody had any water. Eric handed me a pint of Malibu.
Six or seven hours later we were in the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. I’ve never felt more worn out in my life. When I collapsed there on the rocks, Eric cooked dinner. It kept my motor running just enough to keep me from shivering to death that night.
We hiked to a crystal blue pond skim. When I hooked an edge and went under the icy water, Eric’s the one who ran over and pulled me to shore.
The next day we explored all around the lake, looking for spots to ride in the sun-cupped snow. I joked to Eric that he should skim out into the lake to a distant and jagged rock island. It looked impossible ‘til he did it. When he swam back to shore I was sure to be there to pull him out.
Eric’s Jacket is sewn from lightweight, water-resistant ripstop nylon, with a soft and warm Polartec Alpha synthetic down insulation. Shirt style, with snap closure at front and cuffs. Warm, windblocking, lightweight, and comfortable all year round.
Made in New York City.