When we last left you, the brave young adventurer and his timid frightened father had camped in a random spot just off a forest service road on the way to the Wigwam Creek trail head.
We woke up Saturday morning and had some granola bars for breakfast. We packed up our camp and continued along the road toward the trail head.
We got to the trail head around 9AM. I have never seen the parking lot here so crowded.
|At the trail head|
My original plan was to only hike a short way in before setting up camp. I thought we would set up camp and then hike the rest of the way to a spot known as "The Shaft House" (more on that later). We got to the spot that I was thinking of. I asked my boy if he wanted to set up camp. He said he didn't want to stop. He wanted to try to make it all the way.
|Hiking along the creek|
I told Connor that we had to either set up camp here, or we would not get another chance for a long time and he finally agreed that we should set up camp.
The camp sites in this area were on the other side of the creek. I looked a bit, but didn't find a bridge to cross, so I took off my boots and carried my pack, then Connor's pack, then Connor across the creek.
We set up camp in a nice spot close to the creek, but far enough away to satisfy the "Leave No Trace" guidelines (camp at least 200 feet from a water way).
After we set up camp, I emptied my pack of everything except a lunch, a couple of jackets, my water pump, and some other "just in case" items.
From this side of the creek, we discovered some logs that we were able to use as a bridge.
|Close to the highest point of our hike|
Finally, we made it to the "Shaft House" location.
|Connor really thought this old cabin was cool|
|Going in through the window|
|A little stream runs under a huge bolder. Makes a sort of cave.|
There are also some really awesome huge boulders in the area to play around and under. Several of the rocks are situated so that they make caves, which is something that my son always likes.
|Another spot where the water runs under a boulder|
|Another boulder "cave"|
|Frame for the stairs ... no actual steps|
We didn't spend nearly as much time in this area as either of us would have liked. We both wished we could have made it all the way here with our tent and be able to actually camp in this area. We decided that maybe if he practices carrying his back-pack we might be able to make it next time.
I guess we will see.
|View of our tent from the trail|
|Picture of our tent closer up.|
We got back to camp and spent quite a bit of time walking around in the creek (for the most part I just sat there with my feet in the water).
Connor gathered firewood and made a little "pyramid" of wood in case we decided to have a camp-fire.
Unfortunately, it was windy at night and we decided not to start a fire.
|My pack in the tree away from bears|
For supper, we had freeze-dried macaroni and cheese and granola bars.
We also tried a freeze-dried ice cream sandwich that we had seen in REI when we were picking out back-packing meals. In case you ever wonder what freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches taste like and think you might want to try one ... don't. Just don't do it. It tastes exactly like I would imagine styrofoam would taste like if someone tried to flavor it with vanilla and chocolate.
If you are someone who makes vanilla and chocolate flavored styrofoam, I hope I am not offending you. This ice cream sandwich was HORRIBLE. Most of the freeze-dried meals that I have had taste very good after a day of hiking. The ice cream sandwich is not one that we will get again.
Before and after dinner, we also explored the area around our campsite. We climbed some hills and walked along little paths. We looked out for other potential camp sites in the area around our tent.
|Connor with the baby trees|
We did not have a fire Saturday night. It was windy enough that it would have been dangerous. Connor was bummed out, but got over it. I read Flat Stanley to him instead after it got dark.
The wind got really strong over night. Poor boy told me the next day that he didn't get as much sleep as he usually gets. It was also pretty cold in the morning until the sun made it up over the blocking mountains.
After it warmed up a bit, we had breakfast (he had oatmeal; I had freeze-dried bacon and eggs).
Then, we packed up and got on the trail to head home.
|The little SheppyClone ready to head back.|
|Over the bridge|