I read where Jared Kushner met with Kanye West, who was camping with his family in Colorado. Camping? Somehow, I couldn’t see Kim Kardashian battling mosquitoes, cooking on a camp stove, or dealing with pit toilets. Backpacking takes camping to another level. When backpacking to Jasper Lake in Colorado, I carried EVERYTHING needed to survive in the wilderness in my twenty-five-pound backpack. Two years ago, it weighed thirty. Every year, I whittle down what I take along. Every ounce counts when hiking ten miles a day. I hoped I would make it this year…
Okay, so I brought along a couple of camp stools that I could have survived without. In my defense, they weighed almost nothing and worked as great bear repellent while dangling and jangling.
This was the second weekend, discovering meadows covered with wildflowers.
From the Hesse trailhead in Nederland, we hiked to the Jasper Lake and Devil’s Thumb trailhead. We used this same trailhead for last year’s hike. We branched off in a different direction to Jasper Lake.
We made sure we went in the right direction at the fork in the road.
Stopping along the way, we enjoyed spectacular views.
Courtney points out something in the distance to Dan and Danny. Yes, we are Courtney, Susie, and the Dans.
As the trail grew steeper, we came upon loose rocks and small creek crossings. I was glad that I bought ultralight, collapsible trekking poles, which are just like Courtney’s. Their dog, Lady carries her own water and food.
Close to our destination, we found snow!
A waterfall tumbles from Jasper Lake.
After a four and a half hours, a six-mile hike, and two thousand feet in elevation, I was ready to set up camp just about anywhere. I always feel weightless after carrying a twenty-five-pound backpack.
Click for my backpacking dance to Bollero. I have no shame. Check out my fake sleeves!
We found a much better campsite — #7 — on the other side of the lake.
My husband, Danny, and Courtney strike a pose while Dan cleans a fish in the reflective lake behind us.
Dinner! Dan caught another trout to add to our sumptuous feast.
After a quiet night but restless sleep, we rustled up breakfast. By then, we had exhausted our water supply and pumped it through a filter from the lake. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast. Dehydrated food is delicious when backpacking. I especially love the eggs, hashbrowns, and bacon combo. Granola was great too. And coffee….
I was glad for my comfy camp chair.
We took a day hike, without backpacks, to Devil’s Thumb, another mile or so away. It was worth the trip to the box canyon.
We found lots of grand vistas.
The gorgeous landscape included the aforementioned thumb.
Click for a view of Devil’s Thumb and Lady’s swim in the lake.
The way back down is always faster, although treacherous with that loose rock. I took fewer pictures which helped.
The obligatory mother and daughter photo we take every year. I love our adventures!
This was my fourth year of backpacking. There have been years when I really struggled. The first time, my backpack weighed over thirty pounds. I brought pots and pans. I needed help wrangling it onto my shoulders. What was I thinking?
This year, my fitness tracker read 10.2 miles for Saturday and 10.3 for Sunday. Twenty miles was a lot of exercise while hiking up two thousand feet in elevation with weight on my back, but I wasn’t wrecked when I reached the top or bottom. Progress. Walking every day, biking once a week, and hiking on the weekends was enough to get in shape. A twenty-five-pound pack is my sweet spot.
That said, it took me a while to make it down the stairs Monday morning!
Here’s is a link to the All Trails app for the hike to Jasper and Devil’s Thumb Lake.
Have you challenged yourself lately? Would you backpack if you had the chance? How about camping with the West- Kardashians?
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