Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Botting's Go Backpacking...sort of.

The Kyburz Fire is just up Hwy 50 from us. We had planned on backpacking this weekend out of Echo Lake to Tamarac but as of Friday morning when we departed, the freeway was closed. So instead we headed south to Hwy 88, our destination: Lake Margaret. The trailhead is just across the highway from Kirkwood Ski Area and just as we were driving down the ridge within eyesight of our turn off, traffic was dead stopped. And so there we sat, ready to hit the trail, for 2 hours. But seeing as we were so close, we waited with the promise of a beautiful ending and refreshing swim in the lake.
At the trailhead, full of excitement. The sign warns of an unreliable trail, easy to get off course. Watch for markers.
Littles with happy hearts and excited to be carrying their own packs.
The meadow early in the trail was gorgeous. Wildflowers like fireworks against the lush green landscape.
Just after this photo, we lost the trail. Tim pulled me aside and said, "This feels wrong, let's go back to the trailhead." We did continue on a little further, my stubbornness and map/trail navigation going into overdrive. When we crossed the river and Tim/Grady slipped and got their shoes soaked, I saw Tim break and be done. It took me a bit longer, about 100 yards further until a trail we were on dead ended at a fallen tree with no clear path on the other side. Despondent, we turned around. Chalked it up to a day hike.
The next day we thought we'd try again up 50 this time as the highway was opened, though only 1 lane. We sat in traffic for 5 minutes and turned around towards home.
A trip like this is hard and I don't mean the backpacking part because honestly The Littles never complained with the weight on their backs and were happy about the adventure ahead. The preparation, the potential obstacles, the mindset of taking Littles into the woods even on a well marked trail. The hardest part of our adventure was not earning the reward at the end of the trail. Something about making it all the way in and sitting by the lake, reveling in how far we've come and marveling at nature's splendor. I can't wait until we backpack successfully, hopefully soon.

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