For a Tahoe girl, I am pretty soft core. Though I can fairly adeptly carve my way around the local ski resorts, I’ve only backcountry skied twice. My boyfriend’s sport of choice, rock climbing, is my nemesis (we’ve climbed but once together in the some two years we’ve been a pair). And though I’ve certainly hiked up a few peaks, I had never “backpacked” into the woods until last weekend. (Yep, this is true. Blame it on Georgia if you will.)
We ventured into Desolation Wilderness, the 63,960-acre wilderness area right in our backyard, per say. We were the lone campers at Half Moon Lake, and scrambled cross-country up Jack’s Peak. I’ll spare you all the John Muir details—my pictures can speak those thousand words of beauty—but I will let you in a few things I learned about being a backpacker:
1) To state the obvious (as I did on our journey), cross-country hiking is way harder than straight-up trail hiking, and hiking with a pack is way harder than hiking without one.
2) Never ask passersby how far it is until your destination. It’s a total gaper move, says Chris, inquired by minds who are fixated on the end not the means that a true outdoorsman or woman cherishes. Guess who pulled that move?
3) Pooping in the woods is liberating. Yet don’t forget to bury your treasure.
4) Cooking and cleaning at camp is like being 7 again. Remember all those cute little kitchen sets? The thrill of “making” something? It all comes back again when you’re preparing packed-in food on a teensy stove with tiny pots and utensils.
5) Tea tastes better in the woods. It just does. Who knew that I would like chai without milk and sugar?
Ok, now to the good stuff, the pictures that do my work for me: