Mr. B’s First Hike

I was raised hiking.  I mean that in a very literal way; I imagine if I added up all of my hikes I took from the time I was born until I was 18, you’d get somewhere around 1000 miles.  It’s possible that is an exaggeration, but I’m going to stick with it for now.  My parents say that I went on my first hike where I actually walked the whole way when I was 3 years old.  They claim this was a long hike (like 6 or 8 or 12 miles or something ridiculous), and being stubbornly independent, I wouldn’t have let them carry me even if they had wanted to (they didn’t).

We received a Kelty carrier as a generous gift from my sister-in-law when LS was a baby.  I highly recommend it; LS thoroughly enjoyed the carrier, both for both hiking…

…and sleeping.

But not all kids like these things.  My niece’s dislike of the contraption was part of the impetus of our receipt of it in the first place.  So the big question…would Mr. B like it?  Or not.

The trial run was to Lake Valhalla near Steven Pass.  It is a gentle hike of about 5.5 miles round trip with about 1300 feet elevation gain.  My parents came with me, so it was just like old times, except with a 23 lb boy strapped to my back.  I lowered him into the Kelty and away we went!

Notice Mr. B sporting a Twins cap to support our playoff-bound hometown 9.  Anyway, the trail meandered up switchbacks for about 1.5 miles and 1000 feet where it met the Pacific Crest Trail.  Mr. B did very well on this part of the trail.  He was a little tired, but generally happy.  We had to stop to feed him once, which he was quite happy about.

For those unfamiliar, the Pacific Crest trail runs nearly 3,000 miles along the crest of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada Mountains from Canada down to Mexico.**  Then you go along the Pacific Crest Trail until you reach Union Gap, (no, not that one).  Then you first glimpse the basin where the lake is.

**When I was a kid, I was convinced that I would one day traverse the entire Pacific Crest Trail.  This would be a 6-8 month endeavor requiring significant support, both financially and logistically, but when I was a kid I thought it was definitely part of my future.  It’s not.  However, it remains a more realistic option than Hiking the Appalachian Trail which has all sorts of unpleasant connotations now.**

Mr. B was really tired by this point, but just couldn’t figure out how to fall asleep in the backpack.  I have never actually slept in a backpack, so I can’t really say that it’s reasonable to expect him to, but remember LS – she slept in that thing all the time.***  I had to take him out of the carrier for the last quarter mile or so to the lake, which he was thrilled about.  There were a few people camping at the lake and some day hikers, but it wasn’t very busy for a 75 degree, sunny fall day.

***She can sleep almost anywhere.  I peeked in on her before work one day and she had somehow fallen or gotten out of bed and was sleeping on the floor, half under her bed.  I asked her about it, and she had no idea; she said she woke up in her bed.  Weird.***

The actual lake had a nice little sandy beach that we ate lunch at before heading back.  Oh, and it was beautiful.

He managed to fall asleep in the pack on the way back for a lot of the trip and generally was quite the little trooper.  Probably not quite as content in the Kelty as LS was, but he really managed quite well and hopefully had a good enough time.


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