Saturday, July 14, 2012

S.W.A.K.: I'm ho-ome ...

I spent the majority of this week hiking along the McKenzie River.  I haven't done anything like this in years and I had a super fun experience!  I served as a back-up adult for the just-in-case scenario.  My original plan was to stay at camp each day, but I ended up hiking about half of the 23 miles that the others completed.  We started up at the trail head above Fish Lake Creek on Tuesday (July 10th) and ended down by the Hot Springs on Friday (July 13).
The first day I was driving down and hiking up to meet the group at a couple of different points. I figure I probably hiked about 3 miles or so.  I got to see beautiful Clear Lake and Sahalie Falls.  Unfortunately it was too much for Sam and I ended up driving her home that night.  I drove back early on day two and hiked the whole day with the group after settling into the campsite we were headed to that evening.  Thank goodness for two cars!  It allowed me to store some gear and also for us to have one car at each end of that day's leg of the trail.  We hiked from Ice Cap to Trail Bridge which is 5 to 5-1/2 miles.  It was 3/4 of a mile just from the trail down to the campground.  The next day I hiked about 3/4 of a mile down before I had to go back up to my car at the top of where we started due to serious blisters.  I got the spend the day at Olallie camp with two of our YW.  They were totally bummed not to be hiking but we had a good time playing card games and exploring right along the river.  That last day most of our group packed up to go home, but one of our super-leaders wanted to do another leg, so three of us packed up and hiked from Olallie down to the Belknap Hot Springs which added another 5 miles to the total.  Even though I only walked that one day with my full pack, I ended up with about 14 miles under my belt.  I'm so proud of all of us!

It was amazing to me how much a backpack can really slow things down.  What would normally be for me a couple of hours on a day hike became a day-long ordeal with a couple of longer stops to take the pack off and rest, eat and filter more water. The trails are very well maintained and shared by hikers, campers and trail bikers.
Really, there was NO reception!  We couldn't check in at home in the evenings.  We relied on prayers for our loved ones back home.
 Each day along the trail was so very different.  We had everything from lava fields to lush, Jurassic-looking water inlets.  So much of the water was clear and inviting ... even if it was FREEZING.  I've never drunk straight from a river before.  What a treat to have fresh-filtered water.  That's the life!
 We have a very small YW group with awesome, supportive leaders who rearrange thier lives to let us have amazing activities like this.  We started with three girls and five leaders and had quite a range of experience represented.  Our priesthood leaders would shake thier heads at us in the evenings ... table cloths and green salads apparently are not roughing it enough :)
I didn't get too many pictures because Sam had our camera on the first day and she used up almost all of the battery, but here are some that we had (she took most of these posted here--THANKS!)  I am so grateful to live so close to several wilderness areas and be able to bask in nature's beauties.  I had some amazing time to reflect and meditate and recharge my spiritual energy.

Hope your week was as awesome as mine has been!  Next week I'll be out of it again since its finally time to drive down to San Francisco for Sam's specialist appointments.  Hopefully we'll have some time to have fun and take more awesome pics of that trip.

1 comment:

  1. A very kind soul posted a comment, but is a no-reply blogger ... SOOooo ... 1st: Thanks so much for your kind words!! Everyone loves love :) 2nd: Everything that is on my blog I figured out for myself. The graphics are from a digital scrapbooking kit from Just So Scrappy. The logo and everything I created myself then used a program to publish and manipulate. I haven't paid anyone and I don't get paid for my blog posts. It is a labor of love, so again, I appreciate your kind words all the more.


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