Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mom & Amy Backpacking Day 1 & 2- South Breitenbush to Jefferson Park

Mom-  I was so excited to take my oldest (just turned 7 years old) on a backpacking challenge for the first time.  Though we hike every weekend, she has never carried a backpack.  We were eager to see Jefferson Park and decided to approach it from the South Breitenbush trail.  We had planned about six mile days, to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, cut across to Pamelia Lake, and meet a friend at Marion Lake.  My pack weighed 35 lbs at base weight and 51 lbs loaded with food and water.  Amy's pack weighed 15 lbs with her small water bottle and snacks.
Amy-  We started to go on the South Breitenbush trail but mom was not paying attention to the trail signs so of course we went to the wrong trailhead then we drove on but the next trailhead was wrong too!then we finally got to the right trailhead!  But we got on the wrong trail! then we got on the right trail and hiked on.
Mom- I stopped at the Estacada Ranger station to get a Pamelia Lake limited entry permit, but they had no idea what I was talking about.  I called the Detroit Ranger Station and they told me I had to get it online.  We found a library in Estacada and printed a permit.  The map showed the trailhead at the end of a forest service road but the road continued to a couple other trailheads which were not the ones we were looking for.
Mom- When finally at the trailhead, we first got on the wrong trail but it quickly became very brushy.  After a few minutes we figured out our mistake and started climbing the 6 miles to Jefferson Park.  By this point it was about 3pm.  Amy was literally crying while going up the first hill saying her pack was too heavy.  We only made it two miles but found a beautiful place to camp for the night.
Mom-  I talked with Amy about our options including base camping and driving to Pamelia Lake but this would make for a very long next day so I encouraged her to try one more day and make it up to Jefferson Park.
Mom- I enjoyed seeing the view and the setting sun
Mom- The next day Amy agreed to continue up the hill to Jefferson Park!  I took her pad to better distribute the weight and tried to boost the bottom of her pack up the steepest parts of the hills.
Mom- Amy was my timekeeper and we made goals for how long to keep walking.  We had plenty of breaks and she honored my request for waist high rocks to boost my pack on.  I told her I was unable to take more of her weight until we ate more food.
Mom- Our backs both started to adjust and we continued up the relentless hill.
Amy- We like to camp near streams and we also like to put our hats and bandannas in the cool water to keep cool heads in the hot sun (and on steep hills).
Amy- We both put on all our layers at lunchtime because the bugs were bad.  The coil helped a little.
Mom- We stopped for a cooked lunch and set a mosquito coil to help us enjoy a mostly mosquito free meal.
Mom- The wildflowers were starting to come out including Indian Paintbrush, one of my favorites.
Mom- I was so excited to reach the high meadow and see Mt. Jefferson closer than I ever have.
Mom- We stopped to filter water along a gorgeous creek through the high meadow.  We were quickly swarmed by bugs but that did not dampen our spirits of making it up the hill and into the meadow.  My filter was starting to crack, but it was workable.
Amy- I called all bugs to come and tried to trick them that they would explode if they went in my hands.  I took my shoes and socks off to enjoy the cold mountain stream.
Amy- We hiked fast away from the bugs and saw our first view of Mt. Jefferson!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- We finally reached the PCT junction and were feeling on top of the world!
Amy- We went through the P.C.T the P.C.T stands for pacific crest trail it goes through Mexico - Canada. We were only hiking 12 miles on it. It goes through California, Oregon, and Washington.
Mom- We made a beautiful camp at Scout Lake with a view of the lake and the mountain.  The bugs loved us but the view was amazing.  We had hiked 4.2 miles up the South Breitenbush Trail and another mile to Scout Lake.  We were off to a slow start but were also told that this is the most difficult way to get to Jefferson Park.
Amy- We ended the day with a tent party of books and games (Charlotte's Web, Obi Gerbil On A Misson, Garfield Gets Cooking, Rat-A-Tat Cat, Star Fluxx), no bugs allowed!

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