Saturday, August 25, 2012


Three years ago Jonathan, Amelia and Solomon went up to this this special place for a few days of backpacking.  Eli and I stayed home because he was four and I wasn't sure he was ready for it.  But the last two years Eli and I have gone and he's been a good sport about it.

Actually, I've dug my heals and have made up all kinds of excuses for not going.  This year is was the weather.  It had been really hot down in the valley and I told Jonathan that I couldn't possibly leave my garden for a few days.  I thought it would be best to go up there in the fall when the weather was cool.  Cooler for backpacking and my garden.  Jonathan then explained that the lake is dammed up and would be very low if we went later.  I caved and asked my mom to water.

As the backpacking supplies were being brought in the house and we looked at what we had, I kind of panicked again.  We're not fully equipped to go backpacking easily because we don't all have light weight sleeping bags and other equipment.  We just have to make due with whatever we have.

I started realizing every time I go through this when we go overnight somewhere, even if it's car camping,  I just have to push through it.  So, I did the shopping, we all got our packs ready and we left.

It's always an adventure.  When we got to Echo Lake it had started sprinkling.  The perfect weather for packing up the mountain.

 We take the water taxi up Echo Lake to shave off 3 miles from the trek.

When we got to the dock where the boat left us, Jonathan's heel on his hiking boots fell off. So, the kids and I waited while he took the boat back to find some shoe goo at the little supply store or get his tennis shoes from the car.  He ended up getting his other shoes while the kids and I stayed at the dock and watched the minnows and the raindrops on the lake.

This is the trail.  It's rocky and steep and lots of work.  Happily the kids bounce up the hill and people are amazed, even stopping us asking how we get our kids to do this kind of stuff.  I guess it's just doing it a lot.  The kids love it now.

The first thing of course when we get up there is trying to find the perfect spot.  The lake was pretty low and we found a spot that last year was under a few feet of water.  Next time though I want to try another part of the lake that's along the edge just to avoid day hikers.  After all, I think the reason why I enjoy backpacking is to be by ourselves.  It's such a beautiful spot as you can see.

Then after we get our tent all set up, it's time to filter water to replenish our camelbaks and to start cooking.  We always have noodles the first night with some sort of vegetable.  We boiled some broccoli and used the water for our hot chocolate.  The kids were calling it broccolate and Eli sprinkled the cups with fairy dust.  Camping magic!

The next day, after shaky sleep, we explored and swam and spread mud all over each other!  Well, except for the adults.  We try and keep clean because we're no fun!

For two hours the next afternoon it rained.  We stayed inside and read.  But the sun came out eventually and we dried everything out and made dinner.

We left on the third day.  It was warm and we were thankful to have had such great weather coming up the mountain.  We can't wait for next year but I think Christmas might be backpacking themed!  Our stove took a dumper and our 13 year old water filter doesn't seem to be working too well either!


  1. beautiful!!!!
    what a great time!
    my kids have yet to go camping...I can't wait to take them!

  2. what an amazing experience. it is all so beautiful.

  3. one of my favorite spots to back pack into- haven't done it since I was pregnant/had kids- that would make it about 5 years!! I need to get upthere again. Thanks for reminding me how sometimes, you just have to push the boundaries of comfort and do it.

  4. i love seeing and reading about your backpacking trip. and i'm very inspired. pushing through the mind chatter before a trip is something i know pretty well, friend. and i'm usually so glad i did it! cuz trips are the best! so refreshing. so essential for my soul. how funny about jonathon's shoe. sort-of. reminded of wild a tiny bit, the book by cheryl strayed. i just finished it. your family feels so good. so full of love and resiliency. and humor. and wildness.

  5. i really enjoyed this post! we do car camping with our little family but one day i would love to take my boys backpacking!