My First Backpacking Experience: Goat Rocks Lake
As I knock things off my 30 Before 30 list, I could probably stand to do a better job of documenting my progress. Better late than never, right?
I’d been talking to my buddy Kurtis for a couple months about planning a backpacking trip. Lucky for me, he never done it either. He had heard wonderful things about Goat Rocks Lake, so we decided to check it out. It’s a 12.8 mile loop with a 2590 foot elevation gain.
We continued our hike. This is where things started to get rough. As a first time backpacker, you start to realize just how heavy an extra 25-30 lbs. on your back can be. As you’re hiking uphill, it only gets heavier. Oh, drinking water will surely make your pack lighter. However, seeing as how they ask you to relieve yourself 70 steps off the trail, your options are pretty much either trample through the woods down a cliff or hold it. I chose to continue carrying what I brought. It was pretty cool to see Jeff use his ceramic filter. I had brought the Sawyer Mini Filter but had never used it. More on that later.
After a lot of cursing and sweating (mostly from me), we finally could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Little did we know, it was a LONG tunnel. But we could see it!
I could barely get my legs up high enough. They felt like jello, but I felt like I was as light as a feather. Eh, it’ll do.
We wandered over to the lake where Kurtis and I tested out our water filters for the first time. He had the regular sized version of the Sawyer filter, so his bag was 32 oz. rather than a measly 16 oz. like mine. Still, they both worked, and neither one of us has died or had explosive diarrhea (well, I guess I can only speak for myself on this one–I didn’t confirm with Kurtis). If he did, I would blame it on his dinner.
For dinner, he had this freeze dried lasagna that his friend had recommended to him. He thought it was decent, but I begged to differ. I cooked up my Fishpeople pasta in a bag–salmon with shell pasta and mushroom cream sauce. Delish. It was worth every ounce I had to carry. Anne had some black beans and rice. Turns out they were black bean flakes, resulting in the whole thing just tasting like mush. Jeff had a Mountain House freeze dried chicken teriyaki. Not bad, but not great. The chicken wasn’t cooked all the way through, but when you’re hungry, you’re hungry. There were also other snacks like salami, cheese, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, nuts, and a few other things. It was a pretty solid meal. We took a couple minutes to look over the nutritional facts on our food–lots of calorie packed foods. My noodles were basically cream and butter. I’ve never eaten that much saturated fat in one sitting. Not even during the oh-so-delicious annual burger week that’s coming up.
The next day we had about 5-6 miles left of our hike. I woke up around 6am, cooked a delicious freeze dried breakfast skillet (Kurtis will beg to differ), and Jeff made some awesome pancakes (tradition lives on!) that I threw a couple peanut butter M&Ms onto–legit breakfast. 👍
Not much else to say about day two, but a couple photos to share! Most of it was downhill, but with a backpack on, it was still pretty intense.
We were also VERY thankful that the weather held up pretty nicely. No crazy hot temperatures for us!My first backpacking trip was a lot of fun–I had some down time to get some reading done, had time to reflect, enjoy time with friends, and I was able to push my physical limits (and Solv’s as well!) I had a great time and know that this won’t be my last trip. It was tough, but that rarely ever discourages me. I think Solv had a great time though, and seeing her tired and happy is definitely worth another trip!