Well, I saw that valentines day was coming up and figured I would propose the most romantic idea that I could: take the family backpacking! I mean, usually I am a romantic date for valentines day. I'm not really a flower giver, and I am not really good at presents in general, but I have been known to give a nice new shiny kitchen implement. If you knew my wife, you would know I did it right. Anyways, where we were going had all the right ingredients for a romantic date: beautiful flowers, pretty sunset, pretty sunrise, husband cooking a delicious dinner, picturesque peaceful landscape, etc. So what could go wrong?
Well, when I went into the office at the Henry Coe State Park headquarters to obtain our wilderness permits, the ranger replied: "Are you sure? There are many adults that wouldn't attempt that hike..." And with that we were off.
|Ready to rock some Henry Coe trails!|
|Ada(7 yr old with blue hat) had seen me dunk my bandana in creeks before, so she decided to be like daddy so she could stay cool in the afternoon heat.|
|Seth(5 yr old with a penchant for taking risks) found what he deemed to be a sufficiently awesome trail artifact.|
|Some of my girls...|
|Lunch time at Manzanita Point before we drop down to the creek. Jerky and Cheetos of course...|
|Seth, pushing his limits early.|
|We dubbed Joanne's backpack the "jetpack"|
|China hole. This place is pretty awesome. Great place to mess around in the creek.|
|Joanne just soaking it in.|
|I have no idea what is going on here, but this picture is just one of those special ones where you capture a moment in time and it just seems cool.|
|Seth was not content with just playing in the water.|
|A few of these along the way.|
|Happy right now. Let's see in a few hours...|
|This is three days of backpacking food for six people...|
|They actually all genuinely liked the "Mexican style chicken and rice" (see I am a good cook. very romantic) Only Hayley(9 yr old girl in pink) was into my "Beef Pho", so that is what I ate...|
I was thankful for the sunrise. I got up first and started away on the herculean task of packing up all of that stuff and trying to fit it back into our packs, all the while trying to manage the comfort of my family: Keeping a couple of kids in the adult bags while I packed up their stuff, etc. It was a dance of sorts, a very logistically challenging dance. Also, there was frost on our stuff, so yeah, it got cold. Joanne was a trooper that night, and endured a big headache that abated by some time in the middle of the night, right when she started getting cold and thinking about how to communicate her will to abandon day two of wilderness sleeping (we planned a 3 day trip). When she woke up in the morning and found out about our fun night she was relieved and knew that we were locked into hiking back to the car that day. Don't get me wrong, I think she felt sorry for us, but relief was definitely foremost in her mind, lol. So I plotted the quickest way back to the van.
|Seth: sporting his mothers jacked to stay warm for the morning hike.|
|Hayley: being goofy with 2 miles to go.|