Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Curt and Grant's Backpacking Trip - guest post written by Grant Stilp

Dad and I at the Mt. Hood viewpoint

Wow look at that view of Mt. Hood,” Dad said as we drove up Highway 26 and pulled into the parking lot. This was going to be my second backpacking trip and I was EXCITED.

At the trailhead, we met some people waiting to restock their friends’ packs who were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and I thought that was cool. We started out on the Pacific Crest Trail.  My pack weighed 22 pounds and I struggled a little bit on the way in.

This was our campsite as seen from the trail
When we got to Lower Twin Lake all I wanted to do was jump in. We hiked around the lake and found a private campsite off the trail with a good spot to pitch our tent.

We ate lunch, unpacked our packs, and set out on a day hike past Upper Twin Lake to a beautiful view of Mt. Hood. Using the binoculars we found Timberline Lodge, the chairlift and the ski runs.

On the way back, we hiked around Upper Twin Lake looking for good campsites for next year.  We met some people that we saw in the parking lot at the start of the trail.

When we got back to camp we changed and got ready to go swimming.  We stopped at a swimming spot that we saw and refilled our water bottles using the filter and went swimming for a little bit.  The water was cold, but it felt good.

this is me flying through the air off the rope swing

This shows how high the rope
swing was above the water
After swimming at that spot for a little bit, we went to do the rope swing.  When we were hiking around the lake, we saw that someone had built a rope swing out of two logs and we decided to try it.

First, I tested the depth of the water to make sure we wouldn’t hurt ourselves when we fell in the water.   Second, I made Dad go off before me to make sure it was safe.  Third, I tried the rope swing and it was so much fun.  Dad tried to get pictures of me in the air and he got some pretty good shots.

After awhile, a group of five college students came and wanted to try the rope swing so I showed them how.  They all went off and had a lot of fun.  There was one guy who hadn’t gotten wet because he had a cup of juice in his hand.  One of his friends made him go off the swing, so he decided to go off the swing with the cup in his hand.  He accidentally dropped the cup in the water and they couldn’t find it in the bottom of the lake.  As Dad and I were deciding to leave, Dad saw a tint of orange at the bottom of the lake and said, “Grant, look.  There’s the cup.”  I said, “Oh, I’ll go get it.” So then I went into the water.  It took me a couple dives, but I finally found it.  On the way back to our campsite, we gave them the cup and they were really glad they got it back.

 When we got back to camp, Dad got out the camp stove and started supper while I explored and helped him get supper ready.  We ate up our freeze-dried beef stew and then we lit our campfire and got it going.  We talked and read and sat by the campfire for about two hours and finally went to bed around 10 p.m.

In the middle of the night I woke up because the ankle I had recently sprained was hurting from all the hiking I had just done.  Dad got me to go back to bed and I slept fine the rest of the night.
Me, heading out

We got up around 7 a.m. and Dad started breakfast while I tried to get a campfire going.  We were trying with the lighter, but the lighter kept burning my thumb so I asked Dad for the matches.  Even with the matches, I kept failing to start of a fire.  I tried a new design to build a campfire I had thought of last night and it lit on the very first match.  We used up almost the entire box of matches before we got a fire going.

After breakfast, we packed up camp, took down the tent and got ready to pack out.  We decided to take a different route back so we could hike up to the top of a butte for a view of Mt. Jefferson.  We hiked halfway up the butte and ditched our packs at the junction of the trail we needed to take back.  At the junction, Dad’s phone started ringing.  We wondered why we had cell coverage out in the middle of nowhere.  It was a text from my Mom wondering about something.  After the text, we continued to the top of the butte.  What we thought would be a view of Mt. Jefferson ended up being a cell tower, which explained why we had cell coverage in the middle of nowhere.  We were bummed that it was a cell tower and not a view of Mt. Jefferson, but we still had a snack, turned around, and hiked back to our packs.

this is when we got back to
the parking lot
We got our packs and hiked halfway down the butte until we crossed a road.  Our options were to continue on the trail and see Frog Lake or hike along the road, which was a shorter, but less scenic route.  We decided to hike along the road because I was sore.

When we got back to the parking lot, we threw our packs in the back of the Jeep.  I had picked flowers for Mom so I put them in my water bottle to keep them alive.  Altogether we hiked about ten miles.

On the way home, we stopped at Calamity Janes in Sandy, Oregon, for milkshakes.  I got mint Oreo and Dad got chocolate caramel.  They were delicious!

I loved my second backpacking trip.  I hope to do it again and again, year after year and I loved this experience.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jodi,

    I really enjoyed your blog and loved reading about places to hike.

    I'm a blogger for Southwest Discoveries where I write about all kinds of hiking and backpacking topics. If you feature other writers, I’d love to write for you. I just published Take a Hike: 7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest

    Let me know if you are interested. I am obviously not looking for payment, I'd just love for my work to be featured on a great site.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,


    Southwest Discoveries