Sunday, August 2, 2015

Family Pack Trip!

Our annual family pack trip is the highlight of the year!  This year we tossed around the idea of going to a different spot, but ended up choosing the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, once again.  We do return.  :)
At the trail head of the hike up to Langer Lake, Joseph gets Strawberry ready to go.  This is the first year we haven't taken any llamas, only our four horses.
Bruce, Peter and Josh saddle up Macky, Cookie and Stormy.
Libby - looking cute as ever.
And the Mama taking a selfie with Josh looking manly in the background.  haha
And up the trail we go!
Another selfie...
King Crack rock!  It was moments like this that we especially missed Jesse and Mary.  Mary couldn't come because she had to work.  :(  We missed the girls a ton!
We've been hiking up to Langer for 10 years now, and the area is finally beginning to recover!  We noticed it this year especially.  Look at all the new growth!
Langer Lake with the famous "Big Rock Candy Mountain" as named by our cousin Matt in 2004.
But Langer was only a short stopping place.  We looked around for a few minutes and reminisced and then kept hiking.  The end goal was Patrol Lake!  We didn't quite make it there the first day.  We hiked another five miles and camped at a lake before Helldiver.  I took this picture because Libby is the spittin' image here of both Jesse and Mary when they were younger - tied bandana and the book.  Classic!  And Josh looks good too!
Peta Bread!
Joseph - eating straight from the Dutch Oven!  ha ha  And this is an important picture of Peter, as this is what he was doing the whole time (besides hiking and fishing) - listening to the Way of Kings or Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, on Audible.  We sure had a lot of discussions about it too!
The next morning we packed up and hiked in to Patrol.  Josh actually got sick the first night and morning, so he got to ride the horse.  But he recovered quickly, thank goodness.
We got into Patrol and found our old campsite.  Yeah!  It's an incredible spot.  After Langer, we literally saw one hiker going out, and after that we didn't see a single person for the next three days.  Having your own beautiful mountain lake as your private family retreat is spectacular.  Especially when the price is simply the wherewithal to get there!  :)

Joseph jumped off a 30 foot cliff into freezing water.  He deserved a triumphal arm raise! 

Josh packed his Salvadoreño hammock all the way in, and loved sleeping in it.  All of us took a turn in it at one point or another!
Can you see how beautiful the water was?  Peter spent a good portion of the time fishing.  He caught two fish on one day, which we ate with our lunch, and then 3 fish the next day, which was our dinner.  We fried it up in butter in the Dutch oven, and man, it was tasty.
Bruce, contemplating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  No, but seriously, though, it was wonderful to just sit and think and contemplate.  I spent two mornings studying the scriptures for a long time and praying.  I have no idea how long it was because there was zero need to look at a clock.  It was heavenly.
Part of the time we let the horses wander and graze.  Once they wandered way off, and we couldn't find them for a while.  That was exciting!  The last morning, I let them wander off and followed them, and then had an adventure leading Macky and Strawberry back while the others followed.
Josh jumped off the cliff on "Little Rock Candy Mountain" on the second day there.  We all went swimming and it was super cold, but it felt super good!  I stayed out swimming for a lot longer than anyone else due to some extra insulation and the ability to float longer than anyone else!  ha ha  There are advantages to a few extra layers of body fat...
I love this picture of Bruce.  Only someone who leads as good of a life as he does can sleep like he does, in complete bliss.  He had a great afternoon nap. 
We decided to stay a day longer, since Peter was catching fish and we had some extra food.  Joseph and Peter were kind enough (we didn't have to talk very hard to convince Joseph) to hike up to a high peak behind the lake to get cell service long enough to call Mary and let her know we would be home a day later.
They had a great time and apperently did some awesome rock rolling and explosions..
While they were hiking, Bruce, Josh, Libby and I played a card game that we learned on the family reunion.  But we can't remember the name of it!  And then that night, we played Rook.  There were six of us, so Joseph and Peter were partners.  They were so funny together!  Peter would whisper to Joseph what to do and he couldn't whisper softly, so we all knew exactly what he said.  They never bid, but got picked as partners enough to win the game!  Lucky dogs!  We all laughed and laughed about that Rook game.

Here's Peter being a studly cowboy and getting Cookie to walk into the lake.
Another picture of Joseph and Peter up on the "mountain high".
The plan on the last day was to hike back to Langer (via Helldiver), and camp at Langer the last night.  But halfway through the day, we got to thinking we might be able to make it all the way.
When we got to Langer, we took all the packs off the horses and let them rest.  Then we got into swimming suits (avert your eyes!) and swam in Langer Lake.  Man, did that feel good!  It was cold, but so refreshing and very good for sore and weary muscles.  After we got out, dried off and changed, we sat around the cooler on buckets and other coolers, and finished off our game of Rook that we had started that morning.  Dad AND Libby figured they should shoot the moon!  We laughed so hard when Libby said "Shoot the Moon!"  Nobody in this family does anything halfway.  She lost but gained some good "Rook" experience.  :)  (Today when she played, she raked in every single of the 130 points without blinking an eye - ha ha).

Anyway, all the campsites at Langer were filled, and we were refreshed after our swim, so we loaded up and ht the trail again.  I walked most of the way on this one because Strawberry was SO tired.  I was too, (it turned out I was getting sick), but at least I was using different muscles.  We ended up hiking about 10 miles that day.  Bruce was awesome to drive us 3 hours home.  I was basically delirious by the time we got home, I was so sick and tired.  Sorry to be cliche, but both of those words really did apply!  Everyone else was tired, but they did just fine!

Libby hiked the whole time without ever riding a horse!  She was awesome!  And the boys were so helpful to lead horses and pack extra packs and do all sorts of manly things.

It was a wonderful pack trip that will be remember for a long time!

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