In August, the Wolverine and a few of his favorite hobbits went on a 3-day backpacking trip through the Enchantments. You have to get a permit to hike through this area. We had a permit for Stuart Lake, but you can hike all through the Enchantments as long as you don't overnight anywhere besides where you are permitted.
Now, anyone who knows my Dad, who has "adventured" with him, or maybe even those who have simply heard of him know one thing - he would DESTROY Bear Grylls and Survivor Man in an overnight backpacking trip.
The man invented backpacking.
He also invented "suffamily" time.
(suffering + family time)
In hopes of painting a clearer picture for those who have not experienced "adventurism" with the Wolverine, let me put it this way.
When one "adventures" with the Wolverine, one suffers. You suffer until you possibly can't suffer anymore. At that point, you only have 17 miles to go!
When you have reached the point where you begin to contemplate suicide, congratulations! You're halfway there.
When your shoes are oozing blood and you can barely stand to smell yourself, good job! Only 6,000 more feet in elevation to climb.
When your toots begin to smell good, IE like the Mountain Home "dinner" that awaits you later in the evening - you've made it through day two.
When you only speak in J.R.R. Tolkien or Og Mandino phrases, well done! You're finally a (wo)man!
You get the point.
Or do you?
If you have not suffered with the Wolverine, I highly doubt you get it, but you can attempt to understand my childhood. (For those of you who have lingering questions about my weirdness, I hope this might excuse me a little)
And on the note of suffering, we'll start with end of our trip first. Below is a picture of me, Darel, and the Wolverine himself on the last few miles of our trip. You can't really tell, but I don't have shoes on. I walked the last 3.4 miles in my socks, IN THE WILDERNESS, because my feet ached so badly. The thought of wearing my uncomfortable hiking boots any longer was unbearable, so off they went.
Call me Bearina Grylls.
Real hobbits don't need shoes.
Here we are at the conclusion of our three day hike. We look pretty happy, yeah?
That's because we are happy. No amount of suffering can take away the beauty of nature or the summit of a climb. The scenery was unreal, the company superb, and even though it sucked pond water 50% of the time, the other 50% was the bomb diggity.
Here is Darel celebrating the halfway point:
Or was here the halfway point? See, Wolverine likes to overuse the phrase halfway point. Apparently it can have several different meanings since we reached the "halfway point" about seven times.
And here is R.E.I's 2013 model of the year:
George and Shea.
So worth the suffering!
I mentioned there was much talk about hobbits. Our motto was "To Isengard!"
The Wolverine cheered us on when we trudged, "Make haste, hobbits!"
And we lovingly talked of the shire to pass the long mileage uphill.
On day two we hiked 17 miles. At one point we hiked 2,000 feet in elevation in .9 mile.
Sauron's eye will never spy us!
Darel fell on the way down:
But hobbits are strange creatures, and she was able to carry on.
The top of Mt. Doom.
(Way less scary than it sounds. It actually involved lots of mountain goats and quite a bit of resting before we returned back to our campsite)
We nicknamed George, Billy, since he is part goat I'm sure. He was a mile ahead of everyone the entire way up Isengard.
Darel at our third halfway point:
The Wolverine, in the flesh.
Darel at our fourth halfway point:
The Wolverine flossing. Gotta keep those teeth sharp!
Okay, he was a little embarrassed...
Two sisters doing the keep away mosquito dance.
Contrary to popular belief, REI did not sponsor this trip. Although I might add that they probably should sponsor us since we look so good in all of their merchandise.
The drive up was awesome. It involved a stop at Subway* and a drive through Leavenworth (where we are running our marathon this Saturday!)
Our first night as we were setting up camp and getting ready to eat dinner, Shea (or troll as we called him on this trip) whips out an entire box of Subway cookies. He hauled that thing all the way up the mountain so he could enjoy a tasty treat! Well done Troll!
We had an ugly face contest on the way up to Leavenworth:
I won, obviously.
We listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac.
And Darel entertained us long after the ugly face contest was over.
It was the trip of a lifetime. And right now I'm only able to remember the good parts (since my blisters and broken bones have healed) and I'm already geared for our next big backpacking trip.
Olympic Peninsula 2013 cannot come soon enough!
Thanks Wolverine, you rock!