I'm walking again.
Sounds like a major breakthrough, huh? Well, all I mean is that protesting muscles have recovered enough that I felt like taking a substantial walk yesterday: about 3 miles round trip to the grocery store.
The family backpacking trip was a great success.... even better than the year before. This was largely because we were not quite so innocent as our first trip. I briefly mentioned our first trip based on my nephew Daron's nostalgia, but let me fill in a little detail: he remembered the trip from the standpoint of an early teen, and the hike was the least of his concerns.
A quarter of a century makes a difference. The fact is that there are three ratings for hiking in the guides: easy, moderate and difficult. They missed "brutal." Kids don't notice stuff like that.
Last year we set out early afternoon with light hearts and heavy packs (well, 40 pounds seems pretty hefty after awhile on the trail, and my sister's 28 was no slouch) early in the afternoon, expecting to have supper at our destination. Wrong. About 2/3 of the way up we pooped out and made camp in a nice little meadow not all that long before dark. The next day we ate lunch on the trail before our destination. NEVER trust childhood memories.
But we really did enjoy the trip (as well as the results of our cardio-vascular stress testing) SO, we planned a trip for this year. We chose a less difficult hike. My sister and I even checked it out earlier in the Summer with light packs for a day trip. Not too bad
THIS year we set out before lunch, ate on the trail and were at our destination in plenty of time for supper. Good planning, huh? The trail was a good mix, with a moderate start, a long easy section and three relatively short difficult sections spaced out with short easy sections. It was all we wanted to do for sure, but not a killer by any means. I will say that one of the teens asked what the last "difficult" section was like, and I told her that it was about like the previous section.
Her response was, "Good," and I didn't even hit her for that.
We spent about 5 days in all and had a ball. My only regret was that I only brought enough to make one breakfast of biscuits, but they were a hit. I did do one more climb on the way back with a light pack just so I could see a cirque we had not visited. It was great. We got back to where the rest of the family remained in a sort of base camp... tired, but happy.
"Base camp." NOT a good idea if your focus is "backpacking." You see, there are no lounge chairs on the mountain. You do NOT pack a six-pack of Bud UP the mountain.
NEXT year we are thinking Base Camp with day trips and maybe an overnighter or two.
I think I see a pattern about energy expended emerging here.