Thursday, December 29, 2005

backpacking with an 8 year old

Originally uploaded by otwelmr.
I went backpacking before Christmas with my friend Mark (see the links on the side) and his wife and daughter. We went to Mt. Leconte shelter via the Alum Cave trail in the Smoky Mts. Normally in December one sees packed down snow which is easily traversed. However, this time the entire trail had between 6 and 24 inches of snow. Deep snow is nice to look at, but not fun to trudge through, especially with two first timers, one of which is only three feet high. We The normally 5 hour hike, became and 8.5 hours, and the last 2 were in the dark, with only a headlamp to guide us. I should also mention that this portion of the trail is the most dangerous with many narrow ledges and steep cliffs. Anyway, we got to the shelter and had the most helpful sheltermates. As soon as we arrived, one of them volunteered to melt some snow and boiled water for us so that we could prepare dinner and have hot chocolate. I'm sure this helped to brighten the spirits of the girls. The night was calm, and not too cold, and the next day was a beautiful day to go back down. Mark's wife is not planning to go with us again, but his daughter (who surely is one of the youngest to pack up that trail and spend the night in the winter) seemed to want to go again. I've now been rambling for a while, so here are some pictures.


At 3:30 PM, Blogger mauricealaxander8714 said...

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