Monday, August 3, 2009

Serene Lake (or "Death of a PackPack")

Grandpa, Sebastian, Gina, Jesse, Caleb, Elizabeth, Abigail, Jonah, Darius, and I all climbed into two cars and drove to the trail for Serene Lake near Index. Since Sebastian knows all the trails in the area better than anybody else, he knew of a back road that would put us near the middle of the trail, cutting the walk to about 5 miles round trip instead of about 10 miles round trip. And since I would rate the trail as steep, I think it was a good idea. As always, when darius
saw his "packpack" going in the truck, he knew we were going hiking, and he got excited. I think he was about 8 months when we went on his first hike, and in the clinical trials at home it was decided that he was too heavy for the narrow straps of his baby pack, so I bought a backboard and attatched his baby pack to the backboard and it was much more comfortable to carry him. For the first year he looked foreward over my shoulder, but this spring, as his legs grew and he needed more room for his legs, I had to turn the pack around so he was looking backward , or at where we were had been.

On the way to Lake Serene, Darius seemed more uncomfortable than is normal and Aunt Gina and Grandpa had to add padding and rearange him a little to make him comfortable.

Once we got to the lake, he came out of the pack and played, we all went swimming, we ate lunch and rested, then everybody started back down the mountain, which is always the easiest part of the hike.

A side note to Jesse, one of the smartest kids I know, defines "Lunch" as "a light midday meal between breakfast and dinner; luncheon.

As I was trying to get Darius back into the packpack, the trail was too steep and rocky for the 22 month little man to walk, ( despite what he thinks ) I realized that it was broken. The aluminum supports of the baby carrier had collapsed ( not made to support 33 lbs. ?) and he sagged too low to be comfortable, or safe. Now I have about 2 - 2 1/2 miles down the mountain with Darius in my arms in front of me, on a trail steep enough in some places that I really could not see over darius to see where I was putting my feet.

But we all eventually made it down to the cars. I should say that the bugs and flies were so bad that after lunch, Grandpa decided that he was going back down to the car to get away from the flies and take a nap while waiting for the rest of us, so he left 45 min to an hour before everybody else. Sebastian and the four older kids made it down the mountain much faster that Jonah, Gina, Darius and I, so they had time to stop and rest on a underground bee nest. ( uh huh, bee stings, but not seriously ) Once we all got to the cars where Grandpa was taking a nap, we found that Grandpa was NOT there taking a nap. It turns out that he could not find the turn off to take him back to the cars, so he eventually quit looking and continued down to the trail head, an additional 2 miles, then walked the 2 1/2 miles on the road back to the cars, getting there only 30 minutes after everybody else. So while we all hiked about 5 miles up and down, Grandpa walked about 9 1/2 - 10 miles up and down. I need to point out that I bought into the Idea that Grandpa was not "Lost" because he always knew where he was and was almost back to the car when sebastian picked him up, but defines lost as "having gone astray or missed the way; bewildered as to place, direction, etc" so................ I will never tell him though.