On a whim, we decided to make a backpacking goal. We had set outdoor goals the year before, and though they were small in comparison, they would be the stepping blocks to make this goal achievable. We, my two older kids and I needed an outdoor that would be a bit of a challenge and commitment and thus the birth of backpacking 100 miles. Just to clarify, this was backpacking miles….not dayhiking miles. Each trip consisted of carrying enough equipment to spend one or several nights outdoors.
We began the summer by spending a day pouring over guide books and looking at maps. The kids each made a list of proposed hikes that interested them. Joey chose many of his destinations based on summits he could achieve and Elissa chose based on pretty pictures authors included in their books.
Soon after we identified our goal, made our proposed list and selected our first destination, I was contacted by someone who worked for Washington Trails Association (WTA) and I told her of my goal. She decided to interview me and publish the article in their Families Go Hiking blog here. The kids were so excited to be “famous” and on the internet.
As the weeks went on, we continued to chip away at our goal. After a month of backpacking, or 5 trips, WTA contacted me again for a follow up interview to see how our progress was going. The follow up interview is here. Answering the questions and having it published was actually motivating to stick with our goal. As we were at the half way point, some motivation and excitement was dwindling. The article seemed to give us a second wind at meeting our goal.
As the summer continued, we started splitting up the trips. My son joined a trip of Section J of the PCT. He backpacked three days of it or 25 miles. He wanted to continue the remaining 50 miles but his toes were shredded from the 3 previous days. We would spend a 4th day hitting other trails. Elissa and I decided to backpack part of the Pacific Northwest Trail.
With one week of summer left, my son completed the goal with 120 miles and my daughter needed 13 more miles. A King 5 News producer read my WTA articles and wanted to interview us on the morning news. The kids were so excited. Even though the interview was short, they had the best time getting interview by a news anchor.
|June 16-17||Packwood Lake||9||600||both|
|June 22-23||Mt. Adams Summit||14||6700||Joey|
|July 3-5||Snowgrass Flats and Lily Basin||12||1600||both|
|July 9-12||Stevens Pass to Hyas Lake||32||4500||Joey|
|July 21-22||Tunnel Falls, Oregon||15||1200||both|
|Aug 2-3||PNT: Fort Ebey to Fort Casey||9||500||Elissa|
|Aug 11-12||Discovery Trail: Long Beach/Cape Disappointment||18||300||both|
|Aug 13-14||Pete Lake||4||200||both|
|Aug 25-26||Sheep Lake/Sourdough Gap/Naches Peak/Naches Peak Loop||12||1800||both|
|Sept 5-7||Goat Lake and beyond, North Cascades||15||1400||Elissa|