In the Back of Beyond (along the PCT)

PCT 2015-09 002

We just returned from a 6-day, 5-night excursion along a 60-mile portion of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). One of our biggest debates was deciding which campsite was the prettiest. I think it was a 5-way tie.

Peeler Lake, Tilden Lake, Dorothy Lake, Lower Long Lake, Leavitt Lake…who can choose?

Our large group ranged in age from early 50s to late 70s, and we traveled light, ate in style, and enjoyed plenty of comfort in our tents each night. Of course, when traveling with a mule train, that’s not difficult to do. It’s kind of like car camping — we carried only our day packs and let the mules haul the food, tents, stove, camp tables, and more.

Cody, our ever-calm wrangler, became “one of the family” in our group, providing great service and one of those “cannot be unseen” moments when he retrieved a kitchen sponge from the depths of a curious mule’s mouth. Don’t try this at home.

PCT 2015-09 025

As the days passed, I found myself getting more and more into the rhythm of packing up camp, hiking 8 to 12 miles, stepping aside to let the mule train pass, and setting up camp again at the end of the day. We’d rinse off the grime of the day in the lake (some people braved the cold water and jumped in), fire up the stove, and share a hearty dinner.

As Charlie and I hiked out the final mile, I was startled by a sound I hadn’t heard all week: a car driving along a road! If you haven’t ever experienced being far away from roads and traffic and buildings and crowds for days at a time, you’re missing an amazing experience.

We’re back home in our small town (which we love), but we’re already dreaming of our next outdoor adventure.


Leave a Reply