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    Thanks for stopping by our page! Here we will share our adventures and travels. If you were brought here by accident and were looking for my business page, please visit If you're here to catch up on the Crazy Clark Clan, you've come to the right place! Thank you for letting us share our life through images with you.

Pacific Northwest and Alaska

I don’t even know where to begin blogging this trip. I will make a short and sweet introduction and then give details along the way.

A. The Pacific Northwest continues to show it’s colors as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

B. Do not visit Alaska. You will realize how terrible all other states in the US are and will want to relocate immediately.

C. Visit Alaska. It is mind blowing, expansive to the point of insanity, and so rugged and wild, it’ll make you wish you were a moose.

We started our road trip here in Sacramento with our sights set on camping all the way up the coast and flying out of Seattle for a 10 day jaunt in Alaska. More on why 10 days in Alaska is just stupid, later in the post.

This was pretty much our route up the coast with some sightseeing stops thrown in for good measure.

Tech Nerdery: 98% iPhone6, 2% Canon 5Diii with 35L and 135L

***Warning*** This post is ridiculously long. Can’t say I didn’t warn ya.

Alaska travel with kids_adventure

We started our adventure at Cape Perpetua, Oregon. We literally had no idea what to expect and were overjoyed with how incredible the area was. We stayed in the quaint, lush Cape Perpetua campsite here.


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Rainy day activities.Alaska travel with kids_adventure

This cheap, little camp oven has revolutionized our travels…fresh baked cookies, muffins, thicker waistlines…

Now I was tempted to buy the fancy $200 one but I’m cheap and opted for the $30 Coleman which worked wondrously for our needs.


Alaska travel with kids_adventure

The entire Cape Perpetua area has a vast web of hiking trails. View from Saint Perpetua Trail.Alaska travel with kids_adventure

Alaska travel with kids_adventureAlaska travel with kids_adventureAlaska travel with kids_adventure

Shout out to our friend’s amazing homemade jerky.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Please do yourselves a favor and make a stop at Yachats Brew. Food was divine and the best sours I’ve ever had. Not sure what she’s asking for here but I’m assuming it’s something that has sugar and is edible.


Doing touristy things on our journeys keeps the kids happy so what would a trip through this area be without a stop at the Sea Lion Caves?! I must admit…it was a super cool stop. I was mesmerized by the light and shadows coming from the back of the cave here. And of course the critters.



I mean how many band aids does it take to cover her injuries? Traveling with kids is bloody.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The big sightseeing spots in this area are Cooks Chasm and Thor’s Well. People do not mess around with their tripods and staking out their spots so be forewarned.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Cook’s Chasm. Being near the edges of both Cook’s Chasm and Thor’s Well was a lot more stressful and fear inducing that it looks here. I nearly harnessed the kids and put them on belay just in case.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Lots of water, many flowers.


When one of your favorite chairs loses a screw in transit, a trip to the hardware store is in order. And a parking lot nap.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

I have to say that one of my favorite parts of traveling with the kids and having meals out is coloring and doing puzzles and word searches. We don’t have many meals out, but when we do, we break out the 36 color Pentel pen set that at 43 years old, I am still obsessed with.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

We didn’t intend on visiting the dunes but during a “drive about”, we noticed some pretty stuff so we went chasing it. Don’t skip the dunes. Too pretty to miss.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Back at camp…another trail into the deep. So gorgeous.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

One stop we didn’t make was a visit to the Heceta Lighthouse. I wish we had made time for a visit but a photo from afar is pretty too I guess.


We were sad to say goodbye to Cape Perpetua but a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory helped me transition from chasms to cheese curds. I wish I had taken more photos of this place as it was AMAZING. Cheese, cheese everywhere. I think we bought enough curds to last us a lifetime which is weird because we ate them all in 2 days.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The next stop of the journey was Sol Duc Hot Springs.

We are HUGE hot springs fans and this one did not disappoint. We stayed in the Hot Springs Resort Campground in a stunning site on the river in Loop B. Beautiful sunlight filtering through the trees, deer drinking from the stream, and wonderful neighbors who the kids really bonded with made this stop a memorable one for sure.

Side note: we are absolutely obsessed with our REI Kingdom 6 Tent with the garage. Ob-sessed.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure


The view from sitting in camp.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Sol Duc also has an extensive trail system that you can access right from the campground. Convenience and beauty wrapped into one.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Well you don’t come across this type of thing every day…a snake eating a frog.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Because I know you were dying for a close up…


Sol Duc Falls…oooohhh…..ahhhhhh…alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Snack break. Because snacks are the force that drives them to do everything.


My favorite part of camping is when the kids make friends. My least favorite part of camping is when the new friends move on or we have to leave and the heartache kicks in.


Oh hi there.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The force that keeps me alive…the coffee station.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The Sol Duc Hot Springs were rad. Many different temperature pools and very international.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

With a backdrop view to die for!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

So…check out the “wood shop” the kids set up here. They were very into “whittling wood” and decorating them with Mr. Sketch markers for their shop.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

I mean how can you not purchase something this original for a measly 100 pennies?? And they have everything ON EARTH. A slight stretch perhaps.



Favorite signs seen on the road…ummmmm…a few letters missing.


Now, that’s more like it.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Our one and only photo from a day trip to Port Angeles.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Not as glamorous as a misty rainbow shooting a waterfall but hey…when on the road…stuff starts to stink. Someone is less than thrilled to have to do laundry. He should be lucky we didn’t make him use his own allowance to wash his funky socks and underwear.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

After a energizing and relaxing stay at Sol Duc, we drove the truck to the Bremerton Ferry to head into Seattle for our flight to Alaska. We would have LOVED to have driven the whole way but we were on a limited time schedule so we figured this would be the next best thing. Taking your truck on a ferry was a really cool experience for the kids.


We gave ourselves a LOT of extra time in case we ran into any accidents or issues on the road as we could not miss the flight. With a few hours to spare, we found an awesome zoo to hit up before we had to check in for our flight. We loved the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium!

Finally…the Alaskan leg of the journey is about to begin! So too is the incessant snacking and having to pee on an airplane. Lort help us.

Um…sweet Baby Jesus look at this view. I’m in love already.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Again with the limited time thing…Alaska is GINORMOUS. Below are the areas we hit in only ten days and it felt like we were driving through an entire planet. Vastness galore. In hindsight, we should have done whatever it takes to stay at least 2 weeks longer. We landed in Anchorage and stayed a short night in a little run down hotel just to get some sleep after the flight and before heading to Otto Lake.


One stop at Wal Mart to fill the cooler with necessities. No, we did not buy 100 pound of ground beef even though the kids wanted it. I mean, really. Warning: food, water, gas, EVERYTHING in Alaska is extremely expensive. More expensive than Hawaii. No, I am not exaggerating. I was not prepared for that at all. I mean, I guess when in Alaska, you are a captive audience so they’ve got you there. They can have all my money. Just take all the money.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

On our way to Otto Lake, we made some stops along the Denali Highway.

We were encouraged to hit up Talkeetna which is a darling town and a base camp for many Denali related activities. You know, like randomly hopping on an airplane right when you get there to fly through Denali National Park in the hopes of seeing the mountain. Again, not on the itinerary or in the budget but was one of the best experiences of the trip. We booked through K2 Aviation and took an old Havilland Beaver with THE best pilot. How do I know he was the best pilot? Because we didn’t crash. FYI…do NOT Google articles on Alaskan plane crashes before boarding. Not very bright, self.


I feel pretty….oh so pretty…alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

I mean if they are going to bicker…better that I’m wearing earphones that I can remove so as not to hear them.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

So a few things about Denali. I’m talking about seeing the top of the mountain here.

1. She is extremely elusive and rarely shows her face. They say only 1 in 4 ever see her because she creates her own weather system up there. We saw her top for 3 seconds from the plane and I missed that shot. Of course I did.

2. Don’t plan on taking a flight through the park. The weather will dictate that for you. The path we wanted to take was closed for travel due to visibility. Do not mess around with limited visibility in Denali. You will die. We almost didn’t fly at all as the weather shifts from minute to minute.

3. Denali must be a woman due to her strength, beauty, independence, and extreme mood swings.

Up in the air…in Denali National Park. My heart exploded a little. Sorry for the airplane ride overshare…the terrain was too amazing to believe.


That color blue. The park is so insanely massive that I can’t even begin to describe it’s enormity. Seeing things from the plane that we would have never had the chance to witness on foot made the experience one of our favorites of the trip.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Co-pilot Clark!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

My favorite selfie from the trip!


I mean seriously. Someone please pick my jaw up from the floor.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Goodbye and thank you best pilot ever.


Continuing the drive to Otto Lake. Maybe they are worn out?alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

When looking at possible accommodations near Denali, we wanted something that would feel like we were camping but also give us some creature comforts. We decided not to fly with all our camping gear this time as that would have been a huge feat in itself. I stumbled upon these little cabins at Otto Lake, a short drive from the entrance to Denali National Park. It was literally just a little room with a few beds and an incredible view of the lake. The kitchen was communal which is always fun getting to know fellow travelers and locals. I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Our little cabin…alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure


Midnight sun. This is literally 11:30 at night which I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned yet. So ya…it gets dark at midnight here in Alaska and the sun comes up around 4am so you can basically adventure for 20 hours a day. There were a couple nights in Seward where we headed out at 9pm to hike or fish which was really rad. Helps to have flexible kids too I guess who are down for whatever. As long as there are snacks.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Not a bad view from the porch.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The kids giving their huskies a ride on the swing.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Otto Lake…you are kind of pretty.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Yep, pretty much.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Can’t forget about the “Into the Wild” bus at 49th State Brew. Tourist trap and I’m perfectly fine with that!


Back at the cabin. Hold me.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure


So here’s where I would have done things differently.

1. Alloted at least 6 days to explore Denali National Park alone.

2. Brought our backpacking gear, taken the bus the 11 miles in (as deep as you can go), and camped in the middle of nowhere for a few days.

I feel like this was such a “touch the surface” Alaskan trip that a lot of how we usually travel and explore was limited due to our time and packing constraints. We WILL be back to redo this part of the trip. No doubt.

We did take a gorgeous hike at the edge of the park called the Savage Alpine Trail.

This was a good hike at 8.2 miles and 2910 elevation gain and the kids rocked it out! It was by far the windiest hike we’ve ever been on so thankful one of us wasn’t blown off the mountain. These signs were killing us…BAD WOLF!


The start of the hike…clear and colorful and winds…calm.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The weather is shifting. And apparently Blu needs additional strength training so she carries big rocks to work out her arms. Such an overachiever.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Going over the spine. WIN-DEEEE.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Little troopers.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

So ya…that’s what this hike did to her.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

After our micro exploration of Denali, we headed back towards Anchorage and into Seward for the next leg of the trip. How can you resist a stop at this place? Appropriately titled, “Igloo City”. I am a complete sucker for modern ruins. We walked around and peeked in the windows but after hearing a giant rustling and moan from inside, we hoofed it outta there. Upon reading about it, bears, wolves, and other large creatures use it for shelter so who knows what was in there staking claim.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Finally made it to Seward which I will refer to as, “The Place I Will One Day Retire to and Live Old and Happy In”. But before that…so much to do! Like read this board. And the guy’s goal in pink on the upper right hand side of the sign. Cheeky.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

I don’t remember how I happened upon Box Canyon Cabins but sure glad I did. It was mere minutes from everything in Seward and we had the entire bottom floor all to ourselves. It was a dream location.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

View from the porch and a playground to entertain the kids. Score.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

A 3 minute walk down the dirt road from the cabins was Seavey’s Dog Sled Tours. Now I reallllllllyyy wanted to do the tour that you take a helicopter to a glacier and actually run the dogs over ice and snow but it would have cost us a month’s salary so we opted for the next best thing which the kids still talk about almost weekly. It was the highlight of their entire trip!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

This also happens to be the kids’ favorite photo from the trip. Go figure.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Again…apologies for the overshare but I couldn’t narrow down the kids’ favorite all time adventure.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The kids with the lead dogs!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

So apparently, this one was in Disney’s “Snow Buddies” which to my kids, is the greatest movie of all time, so they were over the moon to learn this fun fact and meet this beautiful dog.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

I’ll take 3 of these to go please.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure


The lil’ guy on the left is 4 days old. <3alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Yep…4 days old. My heart.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

When your kids are so inspired by the sled dog tour that they set up their own sled races with their blankets and stuffed huskies. These are the travel moments that I will remember forever.

Meanwhile, Clark took a fishing charter with The Fish House and shipped back enough salmon and halibut to last us a year!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Yummmm….oh the possibilities!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

When in Seward, don’t forget to go walk around and fish in Bear Lake. There were so many spots where you couldn’t even see the bottom of the lake because the fish were jammed up all next to each other. Oh and speaking of life goals…here it is. Cabin on lake with plane. The end.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Oh a fishing we will go! It’s like so late at night here it’s not even funny.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure


So horseback riding. My old love. Riding horses through the Alaskan wilderness was MY personal highlight of the trip. Just wait until you see the flowing waves of grass, horse mane, and scenery of this trip with Bardy’s Trail Rides. And she’s pretty cute too on the biggest horse they had.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure


That is not pretty at all. At. All.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Can we talk about how our guide was packin’???

No messing around here in the Alaskan wild. You shoot a bear dead on the spot patna’!


Those smiles say it all.



After seeing Seward by horseback and dog sled, it was time to visit the Kenai Fjords by cushy boat ride.

The harbor itself is worth a day’s exploration. We opted for the Kenai Fjords National Park tour (6 hours) as the kids are on a short attention span and we didn’t want anyone jumping off the boat.


Forgive the crappy iPhone pic cropped to smithereens. I was just excited to see ORCAS!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

This down there is not an Orca, although the resemblance is uncanny.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure



Please note the size of the little human in red for size perspective. It’s hard to show that type of stuff in photos without a comparison.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure


Back at Box Canyon. The kids love setting up their beds.

Exit Glacier, how I love thee. We just took the easy “Edge of the Glacier Trail” and kept walking past the ropes. Some scrambling and loose rock but overall, a very easy jaunt to drink directly from the dripping block of history. Next time we would opt for the more strenuous Harding Icefield Trail for a view above the glacier and the entire ice field. Kids weren’t having 8 miles that day.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

The blue crevices are oh so perdy…alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Watch out! A Yeti!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Alaska…we love you!alaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Took a little detour to watch the fish jump at Cooper Landing. This Russian River Falls trail is a super easy, basically flat, 5 mile jaunt to witness this magic unfold. It was such a cool experience and I think we spent over an hour just watching their aerobatics. Salmon lead incredibly bizarre life cycles.


To help support the local wildlife conservation efforts, and let’s be real here, see moose and bear inches away without fearing for our lives, we stopped here.

I think it was a competition to see who could spend more $ in the gift shop that day. I won.


Such gorgeous creatures. Love those fuzzy horns!


Our “splurge” for the trip was a one night stay at Alyeska Resort en route back to Anchorage for our flight back to the mainland.

Now…I say “splurge” but we had an incredibly “unique” experience at this hotel and I feel like we need to go back to make it right. Our only expensive dinner of the entire trip was bombarded with a spoiled brat kid who kept screaming in the dining hall overseen by her equally selfish parents who just sat there eating their dinner like nothing was happening around them. I was absolutely shocked they did not address the issue and even more shocked the administration of the restaurant did not respond either. Believe it or not, I did not say anything which in hindsight, I would have done differently as it was clear that this family was ruining the meals of everyone in the restaurant.

To add to the insanity of our dinner, they have an incredible pool and jacuzzi that looks out over the mountain. So…the one hour we decide to visit the pool and relax in the spa, someone left an explosive diarrhea trail leading from the pool, down the hall, and throughout the bathroom. I mean really…tis’ our luck with 24 hours at a high end hotel. This is why we stick to tents and cabins in the woods. Alyeska…you owe us a do over. Though you are still pretty awesome on the outside.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure

Hiked up and around Glacier Bowl which was pretty rad.alaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventurealaska_travel_with_kids_adventure



Leaving Alaska…otherwise known as “depression”. We are also nearing the end of our summer trip which in itself is cause for concern. Kids and their Alaskan loot…

So we weren’t meant to leave. 7 hour delay. Thanks Alaskan Airlines for the free snacks, food credit, and $150 voucher per person for our next flight.

I call this one, “random cheap hotel pool shot because our flight was delayed by a whole day and we needed a night to recoup”.

Plans were up in the air at this point so we picked Diamond Lake off the map and got a sweet lakeside campsite for a few nights. Now, if you want to step back into the 80s (my childhood era for example), you want to hit up the Diamond Lake marina and beach. Just go. You’ll thank me later.

Back in the tent with campfire, cooler full of groceries, and hammocks hung. Life is good.

One of my favorite parts of camping is cooking in the Dutch oven. This was a ground turkey, farro, and vegi stew. Mmmmmmmmmm

Morning coffee with a view of Mount Bailey in the distance. How can you not love camping??

Check out this 80s style marina! So groovy!

Let’s rent a boat.

That’s our campsite over there…can you see it?

Met some cool buddies and took them out on our boat because the only thing better than having a boat is having friends with a boat.

Life is terribly rough.

Battle wounds.

There he goes again with the wood whittling. He made this for a friend he met here. And no, that shirt never came clean again.

So. We set out to hike a portion of the Mt. Thielsen Trail (to get as far as we could before the kids exhaust). We got literally 10 minutes in. Kid trouble? Surprisingly, no. The absolute worst mosquitoes we’ve EVER encountered and we’ve encountered a LOT of mosquitoes in our time. Let’s just say that if we were layered in a Deet gel covered, heavy duty tarp, these asshole skeeters will still have eaten our first layers of skin. Goodbye trail. Moving on to Plan B. Running out of there like…

Plan B was easy with Crater Lake a 15 minute drive away. Phew. There was also a major sign that we were supposed to be there. Keep scrolling to find out.

We took the Cleetwood Trail down to the lake which is a short trail but a bit tough coming back up with an 11% grade the entire way. Was it worth it? To see a guy in an Elf costume at the shoreline of Crater Lake? Heck. Yes.

Now here’s the cool part. This Elf guy was traveling the world, wearing this costume and photographing himself doing fun things and sending the videos and photos to his nephew. I never had an uncle that cool. Forgive the quality of the next pic as it’s a screenshot of an iphone video I snapped of him jumping.

Elf…jumping off a rock at Crater Lake. Clearly we were meant to be here.

Well…we have come to the conclusion of our Pacific Northwest/Alaskan journey. For me sadness. For you, a prize for making it all the way through this post.

If you decide to do Alaska, please take me.

In Love and Adventure,

The Clark Family

Yosemite Backpacking via John Muir Trail {Cathedral Lakes to Little Yosemite Valley with Cloud’s Rest and Half Dome}

Somehow we scored a John Muir hiking permit for the most beautiful time of the year! Kudos to Jen who faxed that puppy in at literally 12:00am midnight the morning they started accepting applications (exactly 168 days before intended hike). We requested what some say is the most beautiful stretch of the park…from Cathedral Lakes to Little Yosemite Valley, hitting up Cloud’s Rest and Half Dome on the way. We only had 2 nights so we didn’t even consider throwing Half Dome into the mix but when we picked up the permit and we were offered a pass to hike the Dome for $8 additional, how could we say no? With the detours and added jaunts of the trip, we estimated 30 miles in less than 48 hours so definitely a butt kicker. I feel almost depressed posting these pics as the whole experience and aura was so much more than any image could capture. Just the feeling of being miles and miles inside the park only reachable by foot, was a life changing and introspective experience.

To get details on a Yosemite Wilderness Permit, click HERE.

To see the trail heads map, click HERE.

The beginning!

backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Survival in a bear box. My new favorite backpacking additions included the Starbucks pumpkin spiced latte pack (easy WAS fall and all) and the Inka corn…bomb diggity.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Night 1 at the third of the gorgeous and secluded Sunrise Lakes. Absolutely obsessed with our Big Agnes Rattlesnake Mountain GLO tent. We have hit some gnarly precip and wind and it’s stood up to all of mother nature’s demands.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Oh you know…just taking sunset selfies on the ridge.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Se the timer…run to the rock…photo fail…repeat until you get one halfway decent. I think Chris was collecting wood or something much more important.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

When you are about to summit a place you’ve been dreaming about for years!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The last ascent to Cloud’s!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The homies coming over the ridge. I mean seriously…that view!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Half Dome there on the left and the rest of the most amazing place on Earth below.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The besties.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

13 years of adventure together….never gets old with this guy!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The trek (Day 2) from Cloud’s Rest to our Half Dome base camp (somewhere near Sunrise Creek).

backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud


Near Sunrise Creek to base camp before ascending Half Dome the next morning. Cards by the fire…#1 favorite backpacking hobby.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The life force. I may or may not have been known to eat the beans whole.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

There aren’t any photos from the hike through the sub dome as we left camp in the pitch dark. The sunrise from sub dome.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Another view of the sunrise on sub dome.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

So…when we arrived at the top of the sub dome, this was literally our view of Half Dome…ya…nothing to see. I was adamant that I was not hiking that damn thing if there was even a lick of moisture on the rock. I must admit that this made me a little nervous.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

As we chilled and waited for the clouds to pass, we made the decision to head up.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

And up…and yes I stopped for a few pics. Maybe I am crazy but we started so early we nearly had the ropes to ourselves so I wasn’t holding up the line. I may have had some heart rate issues at this point.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

This was my first view after coming over the last “hump”.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The buddies coming over the last section.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

We were a little bummed that the visibility wasn’t so good but the super rare “brocken spectre” more than made up for it. I mean check out the human reflection inside the rainbow. No idea how it does that but I’ll take it!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Forget about the missing view of the valley…brocken spectre DUDE!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The descent…which was surprisingly much less scary than the ascent. I usually enjoy uphill much better but not this time!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

And over we go! Ya, that part was pretty much the steepest. I did not stop to take photos past this point.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

I am so stinkin’ happy I am almost to the ground!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

Ya, we did that. Notice how empty the cables are still…go off peak and early and enjoy things with less people around!backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

The final jaunt to Little Yosemite Valley.backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloudbackpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud


This was the last picture we took because we basically ran the last 5 miles so that we could get cheeseburgers and fries. Of course all the restaurants were basically closed so we were stuck with a bowl of pasta salad and a crappy pizza at Curry Village. Don’t worry…we stopped for 2nd dinner on teh way back to Sac.

If you have two legs that work and a passion for nature and adventure, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put this journey on your bucket list and do it. It will change you. And make you feel like a bad ass if only for a weekend.

backpacking yosemite john muir trail cloud

In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks

Lyons Creek Trail to Sylvia Lake {Backpacking with Kids, Desolation Wildreness}

Took the kids with some fabulous family friends on a chill little backpacking weekend to Sylvia Lake. Blu and Tucker were starting Kinder together soon so this was there pre-school bonding time, which was an absolute riot. The only negative aspect of this trip was that we think it was Dodger’s last multi mile journey. Even though he went after a bear (AGAIN) to protect his clan, his young dog mind just doesn’t communicate with his old man body. The aftermath and suffering even with the pain meds was just too much on him, and us. We won’t tell him it’s his last trip though so…shhhh.
This journey was about 10 miles round trip in to Sylvia lake with some AMAZING water rock playgrounds along the way. We spent two nights and journeyed back a mile or so to chill at the water pools. The camp area around the lake had many established backpackers’ rounds with “bench seating” and a bunch of tent pads so we had no problem setting up camp immediately upon our arrival with very little effort. We did secure a permit before going which was thoroughly checked by a ranger on the way out. I’ve learned not to mess around with the permit situation in Desolation Wilderness. No worries…keeps people honest and the crowds down.
Link to the route and more info:

He always has to be in front!

Arriving at Sylvia Lake. Too swampy to swim but still a lovely sight!

Heave ho! If you can’t haul it on your back… you don’t need it.

Our resident traveler, Bear. Original name I know.

My favorite scene ever…

It may look like a homeless camp, but it’s our homeless camp.

Exhausted after the trek in. Poor pup. So he’s 11…still our pup.

How kids should be…mismatched and filthy!

Grub time! And perfect sun flare. Two of my favorite things!

My mountain girl!

Such amazing pools to play around in…and maybe slip around on…so stress a bit about that.

Life is rough.

Whoever gave her this knife is concerning me…wait that was us.

The boys on the trail!

The crew minus the Wallers who hauled out earlier! Fantastic weekend with great peeps!

In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks