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These Boots are Made for Hiking

July 26, 2015

As I write this, I’m all relaxed and confident and waiting for Peter to arrive… fresh off his second backpacking trip in a week. A slight contrast to how I felt last week when he took off for his first ever no-adults trip.

(Occurs to me, I’ll only be able to say that for about another year, as this time next summer he’ll be an adult, as will most of his friends.)

What a difference a week makes, huh? Last week, it was his first solo trip and it seemed huge. This week, old hat. I could easily imagine them driving safely up to and home from the mountains. I could imagine them making their way up the trail, setting up their camp, preparing meals, problem solving, goofing off… and I was a lot less worried because he’d done it before and knew what to expect. So I figured, anyway.  Seemed a lot more of a known.  For whatever reason: less worry.

My biggest thrill in these trips is the certainty that the independence (and trust) is requiring him (and friends) to rise to all manner of occasions and situations. Sure they’re making lots of mistakes, and making lots of mental notes for the next time. You know, as we do. **

And having fun with his buds.

This trip included Peter, Solly and James–the baseball contingent, minus Ray who had another commitment at the last minute, and Daniel, who was a maybe but still immersed in the final moments of the Yolo Post 77 season. Three guys figuring it all out.

They went somewhere in the Desolation Wilderness–I believe they were planning on Loon Lake. A longer hike in and he was hoping for a lot more hiking around, and maybe up.

This time, instead of avoiding nasty storm cells, they had to choose their driving route carefully to avoid fires burning off both Highway 50 (near Kyburz) and Interstate 80 (near Dutch Flat).

So far, we know Peter forgot his two water bottles, his Kaiser card, long pants and a spare pair of shoes in the event his boots were not sufficiently broken in.

It’s not like I take pictures of absolutely everything.. really.  I just happen to have a couple of photos of Peter at REI a couple days ago trying some boots on for size/fit:

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And on the granite rocks…

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He opted for lower profile boots this time around. I’m hoping by now his foot size is settling in and scrambling for new boots each year is a thing of the past.

We shall see how it all went shortly.

**  Postscript: Here’s one of those good mistakes to learn from: matches. Always bring matches. Without them, fires don’t start as readily, stoves don’t get lit, food doesn’t get cooked (yum… raw hot dogs, raw ramen, and raw oatmeal in cold water). Try as he might, Peter wasn’t able to generate enough of a spark with the wire from a twisty tie and headlamp battery to ignite anything. Add that to the aforementioned lack of water (they did have iodine tablets for purifying lake water, but it was more of a hassle) and you’ve got two backpacking biggies. He did have moleskin for the blister that formed from his new boots.

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