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.|