Monday, September 09, 2013

We Survived!!

25 and I went backpacking over the weekend.  We've been camping together several times now, always car camping.  This was decidedly different.

I hadn't been backpacking since I did the Camino de Santiago de la Compostela in northern Spain.  Even then, it was like when I "backpacked" around in Asia, but always staying at hostels, not in a tent. In Asia, I could leave it in my room, throw it on the bus, boat, train, etc. For the Camino, I had carried my pack while I walked between 6km and 42km daily, from place to place.

For this trip we met the five people we'd spend the night camping with.  A couple of them are very good friends. We get along like family, for all the harassment that includes. I could spend lots of time with them and we don't rub on one another (too much). A couple of them were acquaintances that'd I'd not want to spend too many nights with. We made the hour and a half drive from the meeting point to Rachel Lake Trailhead. The next four hours were mostly spent staring at the ground as I tried not to trip and smash my face into any of the all too numerous rocks and roots that made up the trail. Roughly 4.5 miles to Rachel Lake with a 31.5 pound bag felt considerably longer.  There was a moment (ok, maybe several) where I asked myself why I thought this was a good idea.  I haven't been hiking in over a month. Heck, I haven't even made it to the gym.  Did I mention it rained/drizzled/misted on us all day Saturday? In hindsight, that was probably a lifesaver.  Our sunny descent on Sunday was fantastic but we would have baked going up in 70 degree temperatures.

We camped in view of the lake and were rewarded with some incredible views Sunday morning when the clouds finally blew away.

No snow when we were there!
One of the best and most important parts about this trip for me was knowing that my faith in 25 was/is well placed.  He never chided or chastised me for being slow. He always maintained visual contact and wasn't concerned when I wanted to stop along the way. We pulled together as things got tougher, not pushing each other about nonsense as we were tired and hungry. He told me I looked beautiful when I knew I could only look anything but. He was patient to the nth degree. He agreed for mutual benefit when I suggested that maybe we pass on the additional 3+ miles straight up and back to Rampart Lake. We really worked as a team to set up camp, make meals, clean up, etc. I don't think I can fully express here or even to him how far he's exceeded my expectations and burrowed even farther into my heart. I know that a good relationship is supposed to be a (relatively) equal partnership, but I suppose I've never had or really expected that.

We are planning a multi-night backpacking trip with a couple of the same people and a couple others. It will be one night of car camping and three nights backpack.  I couldn't feel better about my choice of team and tent mate. We have started preparing for that trip to the Enchantments by considering the choices we made last weekend and seeking to improve upon them.

If you don't hear from me in October, assume I either; A) didn't return from the mountain, B) maimed myself to the point I can't type or C) . . .

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