Monday September 5, 2011: Rest & Relaxation. The adventure continues......After Whitney I would be meeting up with my wife and our friend Patti to climb Mt. Langley. They would be meeting me Tuesday afternoon so I had Monday afternoon to rest up and clean up. I booked a room at the Dow Villa. I have stayed here before and have always enjoyed the experience. The rooms are nice and quaint, the only thing some don't like it the shared bathrooms with other guests, but I don't mind, a nice bed and a television to watch more football were all I needed. I finished Whitney earlier than expected which allowed me the time to do laundry across the street, it was nice to have clean clothes after a week and a half in the mountains. I had some more Subway for dinner and a nice ice cream for desert and hit the sack. After the terrible rest at the Portal Campground, the quiet room at the Dow Villa was wonderful and needed.
Tuesday September 6, 2011: Horseshoe Meadow Backpackers Camp. Woke up feeling refreshed and recharged after a great nights rest. Judy and Patti were due to arrive in Lone Pine around noon so I had time to grab some more Subway for breakfast and relax. I met Judy and Patti at the visitor center where we picked up our permit. We decided to have a good old Mexican lunch at Bonanza's. Judy and I have only eaten here after tough hikes and always enjoyed the food. But is it really good or were we just starving. Today we would find out. Turns out their food is good anytime. After picking up some firewood, hot dogs and a bottle of wine it was off to the Horseshoe Meadow Backpackers Campground. It was really nice to be with my wife backpacking again, a really special trip. She has been very supportive of my wild Sierra trips and I cannot thank her enough, couldn't do it without her. We set up a nice little camp, got a campfire going, grilled some hot dogs and drank some wine. Good times. The plan tomorrow was to make it to Cottonwood Lakes #3 and set up base camp. Another good night of sleep was in store.
Wednesday September 7, 2011: Cottonwood Lake #3. Woke up feeling good. We had an easy six mile trek into the Cottonwood Lakes Basin. We had some breakfast, packed up our gear and headed off at the leisurely hour of 9:30 am. The skies were filled with puffy white cumulus clouds. I had a weather report of a 20% chance of T-Storms tomorrow then some really nasty weather over the weekend, so these clouds shouldn't cause us any problems. We made good time to our camp alongside Cottonwood #3. We set up camp at an excellent site, very cozy. We would now watch the clouds come and go. Warm in the sun, quite chilly in the shade of the clouds. I had read reports that Army Pass was free of troublesome snow, so I decided this would be tomorrows route to Mt. Langley. We wandered on up to Cottonwood #4 to have a look at Army Pass and it was indeed very passable. We had a nice backpackers dinner and went to sleep rather early. Tomorrow would be a big day.