Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Backpacking with an 18 Month old

I ache. All over. The worst is on my shoulders and my hips, but my knees, calves and innumererable other places are letting me know of their presence as well. They vary from screaming obscenities in my brain's general direction to sharp stabs to minor aches. Whatever I am feeling, Lyuda's feeling worse. Avrora had her own bumps and thumps, but actually seems to be in the best shape of all of us.

What did we do? We went backpacking in the Point Reyes National Seashore. We started at the Bear Valley Park Station and hiked first to Glen Camp on Saturday night and then at Wildcat Camp on Sunday night. The hike from the Ranger Station (Bear Valley Trailhead) to Glen Camp is a 4.6 mile/7.3 km. The hike from Glen Camp to Wildcat on Sunday is a 2.7 mile/4.3 km hike. The hike back on Monday from Wildcat to the ranger station where Lyuda's car was parked is a good 6.3 mile/10 km. The hike to Glen Camp took us 7 hours: remember we have an 18 month old and she actually walked 2 miles/3.2 km the first day. She wants to stop and study everything. I swear she's a future geologist. She loves to study all the rocks she can find. The next day we moved a lot of things from my pack to Lyuda's and put Avrora standing in the top of my pack. She pointed to me and said, "Car! Car!" :P The hike from Glen to Wildcat took us about 3 hours. Lyuda was overloaded and Avrora was not terribly comfortable. The hike from Wildcat to the Bear Valley Station took us about 4 hours. I had a hard time up the hills because we'd shifted more weight to my pack from Lyuda's and I was carrying Avrora. Lyuda was dying by the end from sheer exhaustion. Even so, we did a lot better. We did overpacked and are suffering the consequences. It also pointed out to us that we are not in as good of shape as we thought we were. Me especially.

Glen Camp was nice. Its a meadow in the middle of the ridgeline and has a creek running next to it. It was a classic campsite, really. Things have definitely improved since my days of backpacking on a regular basis. I haven't packed through Pt Reyes before, but in places I have, they've not had bathrooms nor solar powered water pumps(!) or the critter proof trashcans or the food hides. I have to admit, my last heyday of backpacking was 15 years ago. Wildcat was niftier as far as I am concerned. We were right near the beach. We went to sleep with the waves crashing in the background. There was a lot more wildlife there. There were signs of raccoons and we encountered skunks. There were a lot of quail. There were a lot of hawks too. Staking out the tent there was a little rough since there were lots of gophers...:S We did start a small fire on the beach, but it took longer than planned. It did flare hugely because we used some of the local dry grass to get it started. We had the skunk partrol hissing and scampering around the tent all night.

Avrora loved the places we stayed at. She didn't much like the hikes: she walked about 2 1/2 to 3 miles worth of the ~13 miles we did. She did have an accident though at Glen Camp when she was sitting on the table, she did a forward flip because she wanted to get off and she was just out of reach. She got a goose egg and scratches from her troubles. She is fine though even if it did scare us to death. About 20 minutes after, she was right as rain.

I think we had a good time. Since this was a last second decision to do when our other plans fell through, we didn't have as much time to gather everything we wanted or make the best decisions on packing. We did prety good though and the family got a very nice experience as a team. :) Next time will be shorter of a hike so we can break in everything, but we will do this again.

Of that I am 100% sure.

Pictures and video on Wednesday will be of the trip.

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