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A Hard Sword to Swallow

July 19, 2015

Big, big doings today!

Peter and three friends–Reed, Daniel and Frank–headed out this morning on a solo backpacking trip. Just four seventeen year olds. On their own. Three days, two nights. Driving themselves all the way to Sword Lake (in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness, which is kind of a long way away, as it turns out). Decided all their own menus (with some guidance), did all their own shopping, did all their own packing (with some guidance), will find and set up camp by themselves… and hike in/out, of course.

Solo.

I’m a little on pins and needles, not feeling exactly relaxed about this, but also feeling so excited for them and feel they are up to the challenges. I am sure it won’t be smooth, but I expect it will be a learning experience. And very fun. (It’s supposed to rain, with a chance of thunderstorms. They’re prepared, mostly, but that oughta be interesting.)

Three of the four went to Sword Lake two years ago with Jim, so are reasonably familiar with it. Peter chose the spot back then for its famed jumping rocks.They are returning because it’s a short hike in, has lots of places to set up camp, the aforementioned swimmability, and there will be enough people around that they shouldn’t feel too alone.

Marc helped with some of the planning; check lists are the best:

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We got a text from Peter this afternoon from the Pinecrest Ranger Station… they’d run into a bureaucratic snafu: seems you have to be 18 to get a wilderness permit. Oh. After a few texts back and forth and some head scratching on the part of the rangers, they were given the go-ahead and were on their way. It’s 4:00pm as I write this and they are just now on the trail. ¬†Should arrive in time to set up before dark (it’s only two miles in).

Yay!

Then, who knows.

This is what it looked like in the Frame-Peterson household this early Sunday morning…

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Peter was gathering the last of his stuff–see how he’s kind of in a blur?

And here he is just before Jim drove him to Reed’s:

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Final words before departure, “Mom, you are so annoying.” (Then he¬†initiated a nice teenage boy hug.)

Truly, truly, I am so thrilled for him. So pleased that this is the kind of activity he seeks out, pleased that we can trust him to be responsible, pleased that he is with a group of guys I trust, pleased that he is motivated and confident enough to head into the mountains for a few days with just his buddies.

I’m also smiling about his choice of hats. He could have chosen any one of about 50 baseball caps.. but he chose that one. And he took sun screen.

See what I mean?