Friday, August 16, 2013

Backpacking. (Makes camping look easy.)

A number of years ago, both my sister and my brother started backpacking with my Dad. I pretty much figured that was their special thing, and that was totally cool. But when Joker and I started camping with the kids, I realized I was missing out. 

This spring, my Dad threatened to hang up his hikers.  If a trip went off this year, it would be his last.  Even though I didn't really believe him, I signed on. 

Joker was stuck working all weekend, so our party was Boppie, Aunt Jessie, Andy and myself.  We hit the farm on Thursday night to divvy up the stuff - pots and pans, hatchet, flatware, etc. - and make a plan.  Also, to leave the girls with Mima for the weekend. 

Friday morning started with the long and super beautiful drive up the Poudre Canyon, through Walden, past Steamboat to the Flat Tops Wilderness area.  It was pouring rain when we pulled in.  Also, hail.  So we ate our sandwiches in the car, waited out the fury of the storm and hiked with virtually no weather.  And hiked and hiked.  It was pretty far.

Lakes in the Wilderness.

Big test for our group came when we lost the trail and weren't sure where we were.  We reconned up and down the hill, without seeing our goal.  Then we voted.  Then we backtracked.  When we pitched our tents (during daylight - yay!), we were all still friends.  And grateful for the wine Andy had hauled up there.

Gorgeous first camp site.
Next morning, we had a half-hour hike before we saw the vista that is Deer Lake.  Wow.  Now I know why you backpack.  You can see beauty via car, but this was outstanding.

First view of Deer Lake.
We fished (unsuccessfully).  We read.  We played cribbage during the rain and hail.

Clouds and mountains.
We hiked back to the car on Sunday morning, and the beer that awaited us was cold and delicious.  Trip of a lifetime, crappy weather and crappy fishing and imperfect navigation all included.

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