4th of July Backpacking Trip

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This might be our most epic adventure to date.

While the majority of people I know back in Texas were probably hanging out by a lake on the 4th, we were as well but we definitely were not wearing swimsuits. I’ve seen snow on mountains in the distance, but for some reason my mind didn’t really comprehend there could be actual snow in July… until Logan’s truck rounded up the steep switchbacks and I could literally make a snow angel or start a snowball fight.

The night before we packed our bags, and myself being completely new to backpacking, Logan attempted to prepare me. I can’t lie, the trail we were doing was pretty short for a hike - about 2 miles - but boy did I feel it. I have never trekked that continuously uphill and steep for a period of time. We went through rocks, grass, wildflowers, and even snow. About halfway through I was pretty delirious and hungry, losing Logan every few minutes because he was in so much better backpacking shape than me. Let me tell you, that watery instant macaroni and cheese tasted pretty dang good at the top.

After dying a tiny bit and questioning my own outdoorsy-ness, we arrived at the top to something neither of us have really ever experienced. With a strike of luck (and anxiety-filled haste), all to ourselves we had an old fire lookout originally built in the 1930’s. First come first serve to hikers, it was our shelter to hang out and rest for the night until we made our way back down to the truck in the morning.

The fog was unreal. Rolling in and out, it blocked our panoramic view the majority of the time but it was so magical in its own essence. Although it wasn’t actively snowing, there was snow all around us and the chill made me feel as though we were caught in the middle of winter in a far away land. We might’ve heard a few chipmunks scurry across the floor at night, but it was all so very worth it.

Carson Hope