Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Backpacking with the Boy Scouts

I know. It’s been awhile. Where have I been? Well, you can probably guess judging by the title of this post for one. Last weekend I went backpacking with the boy scouts and now, as I write this post, I am sitting on a houseboat on Lake Shasta. I am enjoying summer's finest moments.

Every year the boy scouts do an annual four day, 20+ miler backpacking trip and I go with them, although I'm not quite sure why. I guess it's enjoyable? This year it was hot. It was very, very hot. But it was also very, very beautiful. The mosquitoes were fierce which meant that as soon as dinner was done, everyone retired to the bliss of their tents; behind that wonderful invention called mesh providing the much-needed protection from those nasty little suckers. Tent time provided some writing time (in a journal of course) which I am starting the process of copying over to my blog.

The early retirement also meant that I got to spend some nice one-on-one time with the second son. I failed to bring any games (too much weight to carry as it was!) and so these evenings were made of conversation. On our last night, the second son and I put together our list of superlatives from the trip which I now share with you, from his perspective and mine.

Best of
Mom: The views

Echo Lakes - where it all began.
Lake Aloha
Gilmore Lake
First glimpse of Lake Tahoe in the distance!

Son: Snowball fight, in July, when it's HOT!

Worst of
Mom: Mosquitoes
Son: Mosquitoes

Best Quote
Mom: “Staring at nylon” which is what you do when it’s seven o’clock, still light out and you don’t feel like getting eaten alive.
Son: “C’mon coach. Put me in coach. C’mon, I can do this!”

Mom: The thought of bears in the night, especially when you have to pee, by yourself, in the dark.
Son: Slipping on snow, next to a cliff. Yes, that’s right. Mid-July and there’s still a TON of snow in the Sierras.

Best Equipment
Mom: Big Agnus tent, for two.
Son: Deet (bug spray in case you don’t know).

Best Luxury Item
Mom: Wipes
Son: Cheese Whiz, in a spray can.

Best Meal
Mom: Spaghetti with meat, freeze-dried, just add water and wait.
Son: Sheppard’s Pie, freeze-dried, just add water and wait.

Worst Ache or Pain
Mom: My stupid knee. Grrrrr. Uphill, fine. Downhill, not so much.
Son: Back – all that twisting while lifting the backpack to actually get it on your shoulders.

Best Article of Clothing
Mom: Mosquito net hat! Duh!
Son: Same.

Best Moment
Mom: When second son comes and says, “Mom, I think I’m going to sleep with you.”
Son: The tent – and being in it away from the mosquitoes.

Most Impressive
Mom: Seeing two families, with five kids under the age of five, hiking up (and I do mean UP) two miles to the first lake. One lady had a full pack on her back and an infant in a front carrier. Damn, that IS impressive.
Son: Hiking up Dick’s Pass. Two straight miles of steep grade, the view from the saddle – WOW! And, the sense of accomplishment when it was done.
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