Monthly Archives: December 2012

Walking in the mountains, slowly


I like to walk-the further the better ,usually.

It is not at all clear why, to me anyway, that I’m not satisfied with a normal level of effort, exhaustion and discomfort. My wife says it best “you’re not having fun until your suffering”. You don’t sleep well unless you fall face down onto a pillow after an 18 hour effort” . I’m not bragging nor am I ashamed…Well maybe a little of each. Yes, I have issues, but so do you.

All this changed this summer when in my shadow, trekking and trucking along in front of me, up a rocky trail is an eight year old girl who is my daughter. How do I go out into the woods, up the mountains, at a pace and level that she and I can both enjoy, together.
What do I do about altitude, headaches, cold and bad food?

Last summer we backpacked together for the first time, and this summer we are planning more trips so I have thinking to do. I should clarify, we have been “backpacking together since she was 4 months old, (note picture above) taken at 10,000 feet in the Desolation wilderness, where her “sleeping bag” was my old Patagonia Puff-Ball jacket. But in those days she was on MY back and my ego was fulfilled by just being out there.

This summer was the first time I was not carrying her or her, and all of her (and our) gear. I’ll have more to say about it later, but the upshot is probably obvious to the sane among you, and I think it goes to issues of ecological fitness and general “togetherness”. Chill out weird drill-sergeant dad. Accept a radically different pace. I did and in only a short seven hours and with minimally wrecked feet, we were all able to “enjoy’. A start to be sure