Backpacking Memories

We hiked just a few miles from Echo Lake up to a campsite next to a smaller lake in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Amazingly, you can walk a few miles and find yourself in Desolation Wilderness.

This particular backpacking trip (our third, I think) we spent hours in our tent because of the summer rains that hit us unexpectedly. We learned the thrill of playing cards in the tent, setting up makeshift shelter with our ponchos, and listening to the lightning and to the pounding drops of rain.

Looking back almost two decades, these are the kinds of memories that shape dads and sons. A love of adventure, problem solving together, making the best of whatever situation are all aspects of life we cherish. We shared this trip with two other dads and their kids. We all were figuring it out together as we went.

And these are the kind of experiences, when strung together create a theme of our lives. They create a desire to recreate the adventure, to blaze new trails.

Last summer Brendan and Connor had their own adventure from the end of Kings Canyon to the Tehipite Valley. They specifically went without me, it was their graduation trip together. The pictures they shared were great, and reflected those earlier lessons they learned backpacking together. But the new adventure brought new stories. And that adventure will lead to more new adventures.

And Connor is getting married in two weeks. God bless this new adventure!


  1. Mike-

    I love your reflections on the boys childhood. These stories are accumulating for me right now.

    For more thoughts and reflections by me:

  2. Congrats to Connor! How exciting!

    I think the kind of backpacking trip you had, a rainy one that probably didn't work out as planned but ended up being more memorable instead, is what Donald Miller is talking about in his book A Million Miles. He talks about how we need to create scenes like that to contribute to our stories and make our lives memorable. If there is never anything different or unexpected, time just passes unnoticed. How sad would that be?

    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.

  3. That's awesome Dad. The more I think about it, the more I see how backpacking has shaped me for adventure! I can't wait for the summer - I'd like to take Sherianne on her first trip (I'll make it easy on her!). I can't believe how young we were when you first took us... barely in gradeschool!! see you soon.....


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