The sun shown brightly overhead as I swayed in my hammock. Fish jumped for flies and the only sound was the whistle-like singing of the birds in the trees. Dappled sunlight reflected off the water as I soaked in the beauty of the lake. And I remembered why I love backpacking.
Pamelia Lake was it; the destination for our first backpacking trip in too many years. All of our time in nature used to be done as backpackers. For years we explored the Pacific Northwest wilderness on foot. Then the change began. We turned to car camping and then, once we purchased the camper, it was all over.
Last weekend it all came back. Both the joy and challenges. I reveled in the absolute silence, the starry skies, the ache of muscles well used on a long hike, both long conversations and comfortable silence as Jim and I shared a bottle of Southern Comfort around a campfire.
I also became reacquainted with the difficulty of gaining elevation with 45lbs on my back, the slightly claustrophobic feeling of being trapped in my sleeping bag, the dinners that are just not quite what we’re used to eating. I remembered that I don’t really like oatmeal.
I embraced the feeling of achievement from making it up those hills. I delighted in seeing how much both dogs enjoyed the long hikes and family cuddling in the tent. I thrilled at long afternoons talking with Jim from our hammock perches. I remembered that sometimes having to put out a little effort to get to someplace this serene is all worth it in the end.