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.
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).
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:
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 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.
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.)
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: