Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Back-pack trip #1!

Ben miraculously was able to get 1 1/2 days off - unplanned.  It may not be to the best of reasons - super low surgeries happening (well maybe that is best for the patients . . .), but we decided to take full advantage and do something we've never done before - take the whole family backpacking.  Ben and our two boys went last year (same place) with another dad and his sons.  It was a great place and so we decided to go as a family.  We left Thursday afternoon and by the time we got to the trailhead, ate a snack, lifted our packs on our back, it was close to 5pm.  We hiked in for 1 1/2 miles to the meadow and made camp there.  We ate dinner (thanks to Subway) and got our tents all set up.  Since we only have 1 backpacking tent that fits three, the boys made a tepee for themselves.  We had a good evening complete with a fire and s'mores - though instead of chocolate, we smeared Nutella on our grahams.  Yum.

Ready.  Set.  Go!

Handsome Miles on the trail.

Cutie Lucy and her pack stuffed with her sleeping bag and a bunch of silly toys she had to bring.

Cute, cute!

Here is the meadow area.  Emmy carried Lucy's backpack from the trail to our campsite.  What a sis.

The girls "decorated" their little "fort" area with all the miscellaneous stuff that Lucy brought along.  Girls will be girls.

The boys and their awesome tepee.

This was a cool view-spot a little ways from our camping spot.  The picture doesn't do it justice - it was really beautiful.

A nice evening.  They all wanted to snuggle up to Ben.  :)

We awoke the next morning uneaten and that is always nice.  After breakfast we basically packed up our stuff and headed out on the trail.  We hiked for 2 1/2 miles and made it to the lower Powderhorn lake.  It was a beautiful and lovely hike.  The kids did really well (less complaints than the day before - the trail is a little steep in the beginning).
A cool tepee in the fire-smokey air.

Heading out - so adorable.

I show this picture to show all the snow that was still up there!  We had to cross snow many times.

Aw, these two were such cuties on Friday.  They became hiking buddies because they were the "slow-pokes."  As Jonas said, "We are the youngest of our gender."  :)  Ben and I took turns following the slow-pokes.  When I was behind them, it was just the cutest and sweetest thing ever.  Lucy kept asking Jonas to tell him certain fairy tales and Jonas kept telling them to Lucy.  A great moment for sure.

Pretty flowers - I love them so much!

This is right before the lake.  This area is is the beaver ponds and we later went fishing down there.  Pretty, pretty!

Oh where oh where can my Miles be?

Pretty Powderhorn lake.

The girls and their boo.  Once, finishing up a break, Emmy said, "Wait!  I need to suck on my boo first."  Silly girls.

We made it to the lake and then went back a little ways to set up camp.  It was a beautiful spot - closer to the beaver ponds.  We were all set up by like noon or something and so we had a lot of day left.  We passed some of the time by fishing:
It took a bit of fishing to find the perfect spot, but once we did, 3 fish were caught in like 1 minute.  Miles was first.

Emmy was next.  Ha, her face is so great in this picture!

But she really likes fishing and is way less squirmy with worms than Miles is.  She has no problems cutting them in half.

Finally Jonas got one as well.  Then the kids just played and played and played with their fish.  Yes, play with them.  It's crazy.  It took us a while to catch "Lucy's fish," but Ben finally did - and got another for himself.

Everyone and their 5 fish.  Fun, fun!

We had some down time before dinner.  I had brought a ball to play some game.  Which we did for a bit.  Then we played a bit of Uno as well.  Then the kids played some type of made-up game in which they had to go out and gather pine-cones - their "food."  I wish I would have remembered my book at this point.

Then we got dinner going.
And, yes, that included freshly-caught fish.  I think everyone liked the fish except Jonas and Lucy.  Ben LOVED his and told me so - multiple, multiple times.  :)

Our camping spot - cool, huh?!  That evening, after dinner, we walked up to the lake.  A gentleman pointed out a moose and so we just sat down and watched him - the moose, not the man.  The moose was just laying down, but still it was neat.  Again, we had a great fire and some more s'mores.  :)

And again, we woke up uneaten and so we were again relieved.  :)  Ben and I were a bit cold that night, but the kids all said they were fine.  Half of Miles' body was outside of the tepee, yet he said he was fine!  The kids sleep so well - I am jealous of them.

After breakfast we went back to the lake to try some more fishing, but there is just no nice shore there to fish from and so that didn't last long.  We came back to camp and the kids pumped some fresh water for our water bottles while Ben and I started packing things up.  The kids came back and finished packing up their packs and then we were off again.  We had 4 miles to do this day and so it was good to get out early before it was too hot.

Ben was less excited about his 2nd tepee, but it was still pretty cool.  He was going for something else at one point, but what we ended up with was a gymnastics "bar" for chin-ups, swinging, etc.  That worked!

The hike back went really well and we hardly had any complaints.  Emmy came up with the plan that anytime someone complained, he/she would lose 5 minutes of their Saturday game-time.  It seemed to have worked really well.  :)  We ate lunch at our first camping spot, Camp Tepee.  (Our second camping spot was named Camp Backpack, in honor of this being our family's first backpacking trip.)

Everyone did so well.  Especially our little 4-year old that hiked the entire 8-miles (total, round-trip distance) on her own.  With her little pack - that was carried once by Emmy for like 50 feet and that was carried once by Jonas for like a 1/4 mileat most.  So happy and proud of all of them.

As we were driving out on the 10-mile dirt road that lead to the trail-head, we saw a bear.  A truly rather large brown bear (although the color was more golden to me).  We tried to grab our camera for a picture, but it lumbered off and out of sight.  That was the first bear that Miles, Jonas, and Emmy had ever seen (Lucy had seen them when she and I went to Alaska).  It was crazy.  Ben and I were both happy we saw the bear as we were heading out and not in . . .

And some videos for you viewing pleasure:


Rachelle said...

Awesome, you Maxwells! :) You make backpacking with 4 look easy...

erinmalia said...

you guys are so cool. i want to go with you so much!