We’re back from an epic backpacking trip to Landslide Lake. Well, maybe not actually, “epic” but quite a wonderful adventure for all four of us.
It’s been cloudy and mostly raining ever since we set out. And cold. Landslide Lake seemed the logical choice for our first overnight backpacking trip. It was a first in several ways: the first time Abby and Shanara took an overnight trip; the first time we tested out the new Hilleberg tent and the first time in months that Simon has been on an overnight with his monster pack. Come to that, it’s also the first time I’ve camped since January in the Paradise Meadows snowstorm.
We were on the trail by about 9.15 or so. I was pretty sure that Simon would love the beautiful old forest and the Elk River walk. He did. What’s not to love? All those magnificent trees and the green understory, so bright the colours were almost unreal.
Simon had left me the option of choosing whether we would stay overnight or do it in one day. We had our full packs, just in case. At first, I was pretty sure I only wanted a day hike: the skies were gloomy, the weather less than warm (Febraury weather for sure) and I just didn’t fancy a night spent in the cold. But as we worked our way up the trail, I decided that yes, this was the right time to test the dogs and the tent. I also knew Simon would prefer camping – unlike me, he’ll camp in any weather. And then there was the matter of hiking back out, which on this trail is a tedious proposition. Doing it in the morning would make it far more pleasant. Finally, hiking the trail with a full pack slows you down considerably.
We pulled into the second campsite at about one or one-thirty (I also took a a lot of photos) and set up the beautiful big, red tent. Gad, this is a fabulous tent: so much space, not only for us and the dogs but also for our gear. It has absolutely everything going for it!
After lunch and the camp set up, we continued on up to the lake: beautiful, even on a less than stellar day. Had it been sunny, we would certainly have continued up to Berg Lake. But it started to drizzle and we headed back down. We sat by the river, threw sticks for Shanara and cooked dinner. When it was ready, we decamped to the tent vestibule with our feet sticking out – yes, it had started to rain in earnest. After that, it didn’t let up. It rained all night.
Plan A had been for Abby to sleep in one vestibule and Shanara in the other. Abby would have none of it. As Simon put it, she was set to either hitchhike back to Campbell River or sleep in the tent proper. Yes, we let her into the tent where she was allowed to sleep on my feet. When I woke up in the middle of the night, she was sleeping mostly on top of me with her face on my neck. And that’s where she stayed.
Shanara remained in her vestibule but was not happy about it. She doesn’t like hearing rain on the roof and that was the big sound of the night. Poor baby – likely didn’t get a lot of sleep at all.
We were up shortly after six and back on the trail heading out by about 8.30. We didn’t fuss with a whole lot of personal hygiene. We had our Gore-tex on. What this means is that we were warm and cozy, then sweaty and then extra sweaty. By the time we’d been hiking for a couple of hours and were peeling off our rain gear, we could have knocked over a family of skunks.
I think we arrived back at our home base (SIGmobile) at about 12.30. Simon cranked up the hot water and the heater and I’ll tell you – a hot shower never felt so good. Nor was it ever quite so necessary.
We’ve been to town, stocked up on more food and now have a new spatula and spoon as well – you always forget to pack something, right? Simon is cooking chili for dinner! Yeah! I don’t have to cook tonight! Also, his chili is very, very good.
Life is good.
As a last note, I just want to say that some of the nicest things on this hike were the ways in which Simon looked after me – giving me a hand on the river crossing., helping me on with my pack, setting up the tent – big and small ways that he shows his love. Backpacking with him is one of the nicest things I can think of doing.
So far, this adventure is shaping up beautifully! BUT – can we please get some summer weather soon? Sun and warmth would be nice. Not necessary, but nice. Just sayin’