Running in the Hills-Hiking in the Winds Part 2
From Great Outdoor Store
We had the best intentions to be in the back country for five days. This meant carrying 5 days worth of food—the dogs had to carry their own which Jeff figured to be about fifteen pounds of dry dog food (I swear!). But it was the morning, we were fresh, energetic, and ready to hit the trails. I haven’t had a pack on since the last trip in 2007. I can tell you that backpacks have some along way since then. The four of us all got Osprey packs of various liter sizes, but they all had the Anti-Gravity suspension system. The pack felt really heavy as I lifted it up off of the ground, but once it was on my back and properly adjusted, it felt great. Our plan for the day was to hike to Photographer’s Point, have lunch and then hike a while longer to find a site for the night. It would be about a 6-8 mile day.
Pirate Bendy has been going on adventures with us for 10 years. During his time with us he has lost his parrot, hook hand, and peg leg--but he is still smiling. He also looks great with this Osprey pack.
As we were making our way up the trail we again ran into several groups that were hiking out. They warned of the snow and disappearing trails, but we wanted to see how bad it was. This trip was months in the making and we were not ready to turn around. We did put the waterproofness of our boots to the test as the trails were wet. The dogs were soaked. I wasn’t looking forward to spending the night in a tent with them!
We made it to Photographer’s Point, had lunch and waited out an afternoon storm under the rainfly. We made it another mile or so down the trail, playing leap frog with a couple who were traveling with pack llamas. The llamas kept sitting down on the trail, refusing to move. The snow was definitely getting deeper and more frequent as we made our way into a meadow with a lake and fork in the trail. We went a little beyond this point hoping to get to Little Seneca Lake. This was where the trail disappeared into the snow. We turned around and tried the other trail, which also disappeared into the snow. The meadow was now going to be our camp for the night, that is until we started finding crazy amounts of fresh bear scat. So, back to Photographer’s Point we went.
Sydney is looking for the llamas. They were going to traverse that hill. If you look really close, you can see people's footprints getting part way up the path and then turning around.
We camped for the night in one of the most scenic places on the planet, so not all was lost. This was also when we realized that we were carrying enough food for ten people. My brother Matt just kept pulling bags of trailmix out of his pack. He had to have ten pounds of it. Needless to say, our bear bags were full. The dogs were also incredibly excited to get their packs off. Their packs were soaked underneath which caused some chafing. I knew then that I was going to be schlepping the their packs out.
This is a 32 liter bag and not everything fit in it. We ended up hoisting up the dog packs and another 8 liter bag.
Don't pack your fears. Apparently we were afraid of starving.
Buck and Sydney had never been backpacking and it's safe to say that Buck will probably never go again. I had read somewhere that putting a handkerchief on your dogs while hiking makes them look friendlier--and it does! I also sprayed the handkerchief with bug spray which worked to keep the mosquitoes off.
The next morning we hiked out and made our way to Jackson Hole, one of my favorite places on the planet. We spent the remainder of the trip hiking around, eating good food, and enjoying the views.
The trip was fun even though it wasn't what we had planned. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places. I also have enough trail mix and ramen to keep me fed for weeks.