My husband and I were looking for some pictures of a specific backpacking trip the other day. We wanted to find pictures from a trip to Paradise Creek, where we camped on a rise and heard what sounded like puppies. Of course, it wasn’t puppies, not out there. Presumably it was wolf pups, but we never saw them. Instead, a full grown wolf approached our campsite and stared us down while the rest of the pack loped over the ridge out of sight.

I honestly can’t remember whether I had a camera on that trip. It wouldn’t have been the camera we have now, but I might have brought a low quality phone camera. I do remember when the wolf approached us I was in the middle of answering a call of nature, caught with my pants down.

While we didn’t find what we were looking for in the photos, we did find a conveniently labeled folder of “capming july 2010” (I’ll blame Ambrose for the typo). I sometimes try to remember exactly when my first backpacking trip took place, and I end up doing complicate memory math to figure it out. But I recognized those pictures. That was the first trip.

The trail to the steaming hot springs.
They only get steamier. 

On July 23, 2010, Ambrose and I hiked out to the Skillern Hot Springs from the Big Smoky Campground in Camas county. I wore an old day pack of Ambrose’s, because we weren’t going to invest heavily in gear for me until I knew I liked it. My clothing was also over-sized clothing from him. I didn’t have much outdoorsy clothing at the time.

Heading back, bulky camera case on my hip. 

I insisted on taking Ambrose’s old, bulky camera so I could have a record of my very first trip. The case alone was a burden, and the battery consistently crapped out after only a few uses, but it was the best camera we had at the time.

I was enchanted by the rocky seats at the campsite.

I can’t believe it’s been more than five years since this backpacking adventure started. 

That hike would be easy now. Less than three miles out, with very little gain. The last time we did that trip, I made it in just over an hour. The first time, I think we took more than three. But somehow, I not only liked it, I loved it.

The more I backpack, the more I want to backpack.

A much different kit for the coast hike in August, 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *