Our Wonderful, Blunderful, Magical Mystery Tour

So after three weeks of traveling (and putting off making a blog post) I’m back.

My brother and I have returned from a two week scenic backpacking, hoboing jamboree in the lovely Colorado.

We thought of doing a backpacking trip nearly a year ago, and as required in our ‘Ignorant Adolescent’s Guide to Scaring the Living Bejeebers Out of Our Parents Handbook’ minimal planning was done in both the food and lodging department.

Oh, we knew how to get up there all right.  Just not what to do when we got there.

In all honesty we did have a game plan and it went relatively well for the first hike out which was a five day, forty eight mile loop in the backcountry.

Needless to say that went well for the first two days until we realized we’d packed less than half the amount of food we needed.

Ooops.  Heres where the scaring the parents part comes in.  We had to book it out of the backcountry a day early to avoid being too lethargic to move.

So that was fun.

Image

After recovering for a couple of days we decided that being gluttons for punishment was kind of fun!  Time to do it again and this time in the fabled, mysterious land of the NeverSummer Wilderness.

Now kids, use your brains here for a moment (which is something we didn’t do, thank you very much).  What images are conjured to mind when you hear the name Never Summer?

Is it perhaps the opposite of Summer? Image

As in NOT SUNNY AT ALL?

Because that’s what it was like.  Never sunny, never warm, always raining.  And let me tell you, for a couple of boys from Texas whose ambient temperature hovers around the boiling point of water that was not the most cheerful of scenarios.

From day one until the day we left two days later it was raining.  Constantly, without ceasing and without remorse. It was in this lovely environment that we learned a few important lessons about our

Frankenstein -like gear list:

1.  Our tent wasn’t waterproof- -Oh yes, THIS was a fun one to learn, especially when you’re trying to sleep and being subject to Death by Chinese Water Torture from the tarp right above your face.

2. All our other gear wasn’t waterproof–Also another fun one to learn.  Did you know that Trench Foot didn’t go extinct in World War 1?  Neither did I!

3.Those pretty, lush meadows you see in Disney movies are lying to you– There’s a reason they’re so lush.  It’s ’cause they’re actually swamps.

Image

So we booked it out of there as fast as we could.  But I have to say, it was a lot of fun too.

Sure we were miserable and wet and tired, had probably lost a little weight and hadn’t gotten much sleep because of the rain, were walking in soaked gear and carrying packs thirty pounds too heavy than what we needed and being out walked by a couple of people more than triple our age…

But it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

After the Never Summer we hobo’d it around the state, sleeping in National Forest and bumming off the government.  It’s good to know all those college dollars are going to a good cause!

Despite the abject failure of our first trip, I really did have a blast and am already trying to plan another trip (much to my parents horror).  My brother and I learned a lot of things, both good and bad, and met a lot of cool people; not to mention the cool places we saw.  Plus, we had such a fun time sleeping in the truck in Wal-Mart parking lots.  If that isn’t a successful vacation then I don’t know what is!

ImageThe beautiful Haynach Lake, abounding in wildlife, fish and loads of hail.  This is where I learned my jacket wasn’t waterproof…and my head wasn’t hail proof.

ImageA good picture of our final descent down the first hike out.  We were running on fumes, two Clif Bars and the desperation to not resort to Cannibalism.

ImageA camp visitor at the Paintbrush/Green Mountain campsite. Trust me, she makes walking on that grassy swampland look easy.

ImageAt the end of the day it all came together very well.  Definitely more lows than highs but it was all worth it in the end.

How about that for a sentimental, sappy ending?

Sean

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