Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Backpacking Firsts

My friend Linda in WA has been backpacking, (that is different than hiking (single day)- backpacking would be staying overnight)  then after seeing a terrific home video of my brother and dad backpacking we thought it would be fun to try it. This first trip was to test our strength and supplies. My other friend, Michelle had been prepping a bit to do some backpacking later this summer but when I asked if she wanted to come along, she said yes. My planning wasn't the best as I thought it would be 12.8 miles with one section gaining some elevation. I was wrong on both counts!

We were going to camp Friday night at the primitive campground of Twin Pillars North and head straight south to Belknap trail, east, then look for a place to camp. Wake up early, hit the elevation then take the 4.8 miles N to Whistler Springs on Wildcat Trail to finish the 4.8 miles to Whistler Springs where Michelle had parked her car.
Here are the highlights of that trip:
 We camped on the edge of Bingham Prairie and it was beautiful! 
We have been hiking here before and knew some of the trail was open and had experienced fires. This canyon was called Desolation Canyon. 

A couple of miles in we made it to Twin Pillars. We hiked here last year from the opposite way and you can read about that HERE if you'd like.

 Signs of beauty in the desolation.
Snack time by a cold creek...and a time to rest our bodies. 

Yay! The cut off! 6 miles in and now we were going to find a place to camp for the night. 
I loved seeing the pillars get smaller and smaller.

Cory found us a great spot although is was a little further than we had anticipated. (which was a good thing, because the next day was going to be way harder then we imagined!)
After dinner, Cory's job was to hang our food up away from any bears that may 
think they had a free meal coming.
The next day we were in the forest for a few beautiful miles.If you look hard you can see Elsa on the trail carrying her own food and water. She was such a good dog!

 This answers the question: Does a bear crap in the woods??
 We made it to the next junction~! Home free! 4.8 miles to the car, except it was actually 6 miles.

 Looking east to the Ochoco forest.

Still smiling!
If you look really hard you can see the pillars!

 By this time we were in a more current burn. Cory lightened Elsa's load and carried her pack about the last 2 miles.
This was an area that had burned last year. Thankfully someone had flagged it so we could stay on the trail. (I have a great app for that too that doesn't need cell reception)  We were running low on water and Elsa got to put to use her booties to protect her paws. 

                          I could see we were going to be crossing Mill Creek soon so we forged on.
. We all re-hydrated and Elsa napped. 
The final push!

The end!
 Three happy tired backpackers conquered the first, of hopefully several more, trips!


  1. You all are so brave and adventurous! Impressive. Elsa did great with her own backpack! Does Porter stay home now, I rem he has arthritis and this looks grueling. Are there bugs, like ticks or chiggers? Snakes? And wildlife or birds?

  2. So awesome! Such a great post...felt like I was along on the trip! First one done, with many more adventures to come!


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