First backpacking trip in 11 months

It's been a bit since I've been on a backpacking trip. Actually, the last backpacking trip I was on ended September 18th last year, a course I taught for NOLS. Life went to hell the next day, so there is something of a full circle being completed by the fact that my wife and I are going on a backpacking trip tomorrow. To a mountain range neither of us has been to, to a place neither of us has been. That was by design, as we want to experience something new together – not just me showing her places. It's got to be a mutual experience where we grow together. It should be good – according to the map, it's at 12,000 feet, it's a stunning lake and it's ringed by a wall of jagged mountains. I got her a new pack and a fleece for her birthday today, freeze dried food is stocked up, appropriate maps are packed and we're ready to roll. We're going minimalistic style with few extras: some good tea, a few sticks of incense and the Rocky Mountain Natural History book. And of course Stella – for she is our family – and one can of wet dog food to make it a special treat for her.

We're both giddy excited, and I think these little exploration overnights are going to become a trend till November. Once you get in the rhythm of heading out there, it's hard to stop. As we told her mom and dad in that very uncomfortable "we're getting married" meeting back in May – a big part of the draw in this relationship is that we DO like to do the same things – backpacking, backcountry skiing, etc. I'm not really sure that argument made the impression we were hoping for, but it's true, and it's a beautiful thing.

I've been getting back on the bike quite a bit, just with the early morning rides up to the 'bou. Stella comes along for the exercise. It's a good way to start the day, going up high and watching the morning light bask the tundra. There is definitely a fall feel in the air…something about the wind, the light. Or, more tangibly, those little flowers under the aspen trees are starting to turn yellow.

We're entering the magical season, autumn in the Rockies. I missed it last year, and that hurt more than anything. Not this time.

4 Replies to “First backpacking trip in 11 months”

  1. Have a great trip, you three! Sounds like a perfect trek at a perfect time of year. And coming full circle, well, when it’s a good circle, there’s nothing better, nothing more complete. Take care! Sharon


  2. That was an awesome trip, love. A very good two days, I can say. Every moment of it with you was magical, and I can’t wait to do another one with you. And Stella is the best dog in the world, no? Love ya!


  3. That was awesome babe. Nice job setting the hammer-head pace! Stella is a good one. She definitely takes a high ranking with some of the other dogs I’ve known. I can definitely say she is the only dog I’ve ever had that would not have freaked out over those goats six feet from the tent. Thanks for the trip – love you girl.


  4. Thanks Sharon. You’re a great sister. While the past year has been tough, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because it has brought all of us closer. Thank you, and love you.


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