June 18, 2013

Summer Adventures #2

This past weekend Shane, Steph and I went for a grand adventure.  We packed our bags with sleeping bags and tents.  We carved walking sticks, and laced up our boots.  We drove into Hope and then 40kms into the Skagit Valley until we finally reached our trail.  The hike was magnificent, the forest inspiring.  It was the most beautiful hike/walk/sight I'd ever seen.  It took 11.5kms and 3.5 hours of bushwhacking, balancing, shimmying, gawking and general traipsing through incredible (and incredibly diverse) forest before we reached our campsite at Delacy Wilderness Camp.  We were lucky enough to see the wild rhododendrons in bloom, and wildflowers galore throughout our hike.  We spotted snakes and harlequin ducks and two very rowdy dogs.  We heard no cars/trucks/airplanes/trains/boats for 24 glorious hours.  Some of the best hours of my life.  

We set up camp beside the river, where the water moved swiftly but the dogs could drink.  We roasted hotdogs and s'mores over a small (very illegal) campfire.  We drank a few swigs of Sailor Jerry's without a chaser (which still leaves a bad taste in my mouth).  We tried to stay up late enough to see the crystal clear stars, but at 11pm I was nearly too tired to stand (I did this hike coming off a night shift) so we went to sleep for a solid 8 hours.  I'll regret that one for a while.  I love my stars.  For breakfast we ate my favourite oatcakes, a bowl of oatmeal in a muffin form.  They're delicious! And drank our instant Starbucks coffee.  
The return trip was even better than the day before.  We were less tired and more relaxed.  The last three kilometers of the trail however, tested our resolve.  The mosquitoes were horrid!  We layered on the OFF but they were relentless nonetheless, each of us had a 30-mosquito pack trailing us.  We nearly ran all the way to the car.  When we got there we jumped in the car as fast as we could and took off down the road with the windows open.  A peanut butter and jam sandwich never tasted so good as after that 11.5km hike.
Shane and I bought several things leading up to this hike.  We call them investments, since we really enjoyed backpack camping and plan to do more this summer (and all following summers).
-We bought a LifeStraw, which was fascinating to use.  It is a straw with a filter inside, meaning we can use it on cloudy water.  It isn't the most convenient thing to use, but it definitely worth the hassle.  What I like most about this is how small and lightweight it is and that we can use it in all future travels both here and abroad.  I would still like to get a Steripen for a fast way to clean clear water (which is what we have when we hike).
-This sleeping bag was awesome (according to Shane).  It's a sleeping bag that will last a long time and keep us warmer longer than cheaper bags.  You get what you pay for with sleeping bags.
-This Whisperlite stove really was awesome.  It's simple to use (even I figured it out), it's lightweight and it totally works!  What more can you ask for? I would recommend this product to anyone.
I'm sorry that all I have to share are (shitty) iphone photos.  (Less sorry, more sad for myself).  If I had taken my camera the hike would have been a LOT slower, and unfortunately much heavier.  Never mind though, just take my word for how beautiful it was with it's pristine river and 100+ year old trees, how good it smelled like pine and soil, and how wonderful it was to hear nothing but running water and birds chirping.

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