Big Sis sent a message of disappointment after her daughter’s backpacking trip with the girl scouts was cancelled. She was bummed as her last trip to the backcountry was way back when we were kids lucky enough to get financial assistance in order to attend a rather expensive backpacking camp for the rich and famous (slight exaggeration).
We were on welfare at the time, paying for our dairy products and peanut butter with food stamps and humility. And although our slurpee cups and toddler friendly plastic plates caught the attention of ALL as they made their way through the wash, amongst the sierra cups and other specialized camp-ware, we gratefully let the ridicule run off our backs just to be able to enjoy the experience.
Upon reading Big Sis’ message, I asked theMan if he thought I’d be ready to “take the lead” on a backpacking trip. His response was a wholehearted and absolute “YES!” I immediately reached out to Big Sis and, after confirming interest, went in search of securing trail camp reservations and the necessary wilderness permit. This was a bigger task than it seems as we had only ONE available weekend and very little lead time. But somehow, I managed to make arrangements for a small-scale backpacking adventure.
And, when I say “small,” I mean SMALL… as in small as a stone’s throw beyond pitching-the-tent-in-the-backyard small.
Our trail camp is essentially just over 2 miles off the road: far enough into the trees to give the feel of being in the woods but close enough to be able to pack it up and head into the town for a burger and fries if the stove doesn’t light. Still, I’m taking it just as serious as if I were heading right back into Kings Canyon for an overnight with Big Sis and the kids. Because, I need to do it right, or try to, in order to figure out where I need to improve for a successful trip into the depths of the woods for many nights without the skills and know-how of theMan steering me from harm.
Not only do I feel I need to do this for my own benefit but also for the benefit of those who will be following my lead. The only exception to my keep-it-light rule is that I am considering packing along “Nikita,” my DSLR camera, to hopefully get some sweet shots of the sea from up above we are likely to see on our planned day-hike and of course do my paparazzi style documenting of all the fun we’re going to have on this momentous occasion.