|Bed sledding during lunch|
I decided to take my daughter backpacking as a reward for doing all her homework this week. She's a brilliant child, but she does not care for school. The goal was the end of a spur road with a nice view. I drove the Jeep as far as it would go in the snow with the 4 wheel drive broken. That is, I drove to the snow line.
Then I put on my too heavy REI pack and my daughter put on her feather light GG pack and we started to hike on the snow. Then it started to rain. So we turned around and got back into the Jeep and started to leave. Then the sun came out. So I drove in reverse about 1/10th of a mile over waterbars from hell, back to where I had parked and we started our hike. My daughter giggled as I drove in reverse. Somehow my daughter's trekking pole got lost in all the fuss. At the end of the hike we found it in the back of the Jeep.
We started hiking up and soon it started to rain again. Not good. There was snow on the ground and rain was falling down on us, that is a recipe for cold. It's better to be snowed on really, because falling snow is not as likely to get you soaked.
My pack felt so heavy. My daughter hiked so slow. I got so irritated. My pack began to feel heavier, my daughter started hiking even slower, I got more irritated. I decided to reduce my irritation by cutting back on the planned length of our hike. But cutting back on hiking time would mean spending more time shivering in camp. There was no way to win and I knew it.
We never made it to camp. The spur road we tried to hike on had been decommissioned and graded to match the slope of the mountain. The sideways slope was too steep for my daughter to keep her traction in the snow. She fell a few times and then said she could not go on. So, we turned around and looked for a spot to take a break and have a hot drink.
|Can't get up and having too much fun trying to|
We found a nice spot to brew hot chocolate and just as I was getting ready to make the hot drinks the sky opened up and down came the rain even harder. I began to get worried. This was no weather to even think about tarp tenting in, even without a 9 year old. I worked fast to pitch a tarp over us so we could at least stay dry while sipping our drinks. I got more irritated and worried and was unsure what to do. Patches was shivering in her summer haircut and there was no way for me to start a campfire. We decided to have a hot lunch and then make a retreat back to the Jeep.
After lunch, my daughter made a fun game out of sledding with her foam sleeping pad. My irritation subsided a bit. I packed up the tarp while my daughter went sledding on her newly christened "bed sled". Then we headed back down the mountain.
My daughter kept stopping to play, my pack was so heavy, I got irritated. My daughter kept stopping. I kept wondering, why is my pack so heavy?
My daughter kept stopping, I got more and more irritated. I explained to my daughter that it hurts for me to just stand around when I have a heavy pack on. We should try to hike at a steady pace with our packs and then from time to time stop and take our packs off and then rest and play.
|Hot chocolate in the rain on the snow|
I remember having this conversation my my oldest daughter. It did not sink in any better with my youngest daughter. I got more irritated, my pack got heavier, I wanted a beer, I needed some vodka. I had no beer or vodka on me. Why was my pack so heavy? Did it just feel heavy because I had hiked Mount Rose the day before?
My daughter stopped to pee 100 feet behind me and uphill from me and then she claimed she could not get her pants back up. I knew better and I did not want to backtrack uphill, I was so tired and so frustrated. I threw down my trekking poles, dropped my pack in the snow and planted my butt in a snow bank and put my hands over my eyes. Patches came up tried to lick my face and console me. Wow, what a smart dog!
At this point, my daugther finally realized that mom was reaching ( or maybe had reached?) her breaking point and then magically she managed to pull up her own pants and she even picked up the pace for the rest of the hike back down to the Jeep.
After warming up in the Jeep I decided to try car camping at a lower elevation and we managed to get the beautiful campsite next to Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek is the outlet stream for Spider Lake. I have never seen that campsite be empty when the gates are open. It made me so happy to see that campsite empty! I've been wanting to camp there for awhile and I've had tea there many times.
We car camped there for the night ( car camped with no beer!) and had a wonderful campfire. We dried out our wet gear with the campfire. I built the fire with the wood that I always keep in my Jeep. I pulled out the surpise package of marshmallows I had packed for the trip. My duaghter was thrilled. I had two lawn chairs in my Jeep , so even with backpacking gear we had a comfortable car camp in this non-developed campsite.
In the night my tarp leaked and a puddle of water formed near my fancy camera, I caught it just in time. I cursed at my tarp tent. I was glad that I was not camping in the snow two miles from the Jeep with a leaky tarp tent. Later I figured out it was the way I had put my shoes next to the tarp wall that had let water in. It was not entirely the tarps fault.
At 6am I woke up to the sound of a pick up truck in our campsite. Oh crap, I thought, who has come to bother me? Where is my bear spray? Why isn't my dog barking? What stranger or ranger has come to ruin my day?
None of the above! It was my friend Dan, he got my satellite messages the night before and he decided to drive out and join us for breakfast. What a pleasant surprise! We had breakfast and packed up in the rain and headed back home.
We were back home by 8am. That gave me enough time to go geocaching and get bitten by a tick.
3 miles with 500 feet elevation gain
The longest 3 miles I have ever hiked
It turned out that my pack was so heavy because it had soaked up a bunch of rain water. Also I learned that my strategy of packing a short sleeping pad and using my backpack under my feet does not work so well when my backpack is soaking wet. Time to come up with a new idea maybe.
I can not begin to describe how mentally and physically exhausting it can be to hike with a 9 year old. What is needed is another adult and child to join us on these trips. The children can entertain each other and the adults can drink vodka together.. yeah, sounds like a plan.
|So close, and yet so far. The camp waypoint was our destination|
|She learned how to blow bubbles the night before|
|Car camping at a much lower elevation. She cleaned up this |
mess all by herself with me even asking her to