Friday, July 8, 2011

Our First Family Backpacking Trip

Yesterday, we got back from our first family backpacking trip and we are totally pumped about it. We honestly can't wait to get back out there again!! I really didn't know what to expect...but this enthusiasm and genuine desire to 'do it again' from all 4 of us would not have been my first guess. Of course, we do realize this maiden trip had many good things going for it. For one, we got to hike and backpack alongside the Benintendis (who wouldn't like that, right??). We also had the most pleasant weather we could ever possibly ask for--not too hot, not too cold. Just perfect. We really couldn't help but appreciate God's beautiful creation in that kind of climate! And the fact that there was snow still around when we arrived at the campsites made the trip only more interesting from our point of view.

Since I had my camera slung around my neck for practically the whole trip, I got a little trigger happy. There were so many things to document...I simply couldn't help myself!! (Imagine Isaiah groaning right about here.) So, I'll let mostly my lens tell the rest of the details..

We started out at the Burnt Lake Trailhead.

It was a little over 3 miles of hiking in, with a elevation gain of  approx. 1500 feet.

We had a few stops along the rest the legs.

And enjoyed a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood at a particular bend on the trail.
Mason B. affectionately calls it The Crystal Lights..

There were many streams to cross...

..and snow to trail on once we reached the lake.

But it was all worth it when we got to this breath-taking view.

The dads and the bigger kids had been here they knew this view well.

It was so warm...yet there was snow all around us!

This log became our dining table.
And this became our home for the next 40 hours or so.
The first thing Isaiah wanted to do when we got to camp was to set the crawdad trap in the lake and leave it there overnight.
You can imagine what was the first thing he wanted to do when we got up.

These 5 crawdaddies let their sense of smell (of beef jerky) get the best of them...and became a snack for some of us. 

Proud trapper!!


We spent most of the first morning on these rocks overlooking the lake.

While some of us sat and watched...

...and pretended to see something amazing near Zigzag Mtn for this shot...

...the others fished.
They manage to 'catch' 3 fish but all 3 escaped.
My friend Becky, the amazing photographer, got great shots of the rainbow trout
her daughter Kaiah 'caught' before it slipped off the hook and fell back into the water.
Our frog whisperer managed to catch a frog with his bare hands.

It was a pretty one!!

Either the frog was stunned or Isaiah worked his magic on him...
but he didn't swim away like mad when his catcher released him back into the lake.

Are you kidding me? Another picture?? ;)

We played sardines and this is Kaiah finding me and the crew that had found me already.
We all took naps, except for Isaiah and Andrew.

When we got up from our naps, we found Isaiah in the frigid water trying to catch crawdads.

He was successful 3 times...

...but released this one because she had to lay all these little black eggs still. So cool!!

The popcorn storytelling started off with a bang.

..and had great momentum in the middle...but as all popcorn stories go, it got too silly after a while.

Caught a glimpse of the sunset before bed.

Got up, ate, and packed up for the trek back down.

These two thought it would be more interesting if we turned it into a race of pairs.
Whichever team of two gets to the horseshoe market at the trailhead first wins.
They named themselves The Oregon Forest Golden Eagles Team. They came first, of course!

Kaiah and Brielle got named The Rainbow Trout Catchers, and Brielle, half the team, came in second... tie with The Steamrollers, Baby! Team.

The "Mama" Team came in way later with Cambria, Kaiah,  and Mr. Benintendi.
They didn't even know they were in a race...
and they probably wouldn't have been able to do much about it anyway. ;)


  1. What a fun trip! I enjoyed all the pics. Gorgeous!!!

  2. I just posted mine :) Thanks for such fun memories :) You guys are such fun friends.

  3. I have to admit I'm kind of sad I didn't take you on your first family backpacking trip since I took you on your first married couple trip. It looks like you had a much better time, though, since there were no bears or snowstorms! Good prep for the coming of age trips!

  4. I think the kids will totally be ready for the coming of age trips! Bears and snowstorms only add glory to our first backpacking story. You're the one who suffered the most, having to get up throughout the night to shovel the snow off the tarp...and then your feet were killing because of those boots. You were pretty awesome to endure all that calmly...