Hiker is to backpacker what jogger is to marathoner. Hiker is to backpacker what boy scout it to marine. Hiker is to backpacker what babysitter is to the octo-mom.
Okay, so maybe I’ve exaggerated a bit. But I’m still uber thrilled to be up-grading my outdoorsmen status from a mere day hiker to stock-up-on-some-serious-deet-drenched-bug-repellent backpacker.
I’ve been on plenty of day hikes, but never done an overnighter. Backpack the Pacific Crest Trail is on my bucket list and 2010 is the year! However, due to having a grown-up life with responsibility, the entire 2,650 miles of trail from Mexico to Canada will have to wait. I’ll settle with 3 days and 2 nights, in northern Oregon . . . for now.
Our rough plan is to put in off Highway 22 and end up at Mount Hood. We are still nailing down the route.
Step one – assess our fitness level. Sure, Ryan and I have been taking turns schlepping our 35lb two-year-old in the baby-backpack on day hikes. But when it comes to elevation and distance, we are lacking.
Enter . . . Dome Rock – a 10.6 mile hike with 3270 feet elevation gain and an option to tack on 4 miles with a jaunt down to Tumble Lake and Tumble Lake Falls. Dome Rock should give us a good idea of how our training is coming. The baby-sitter is booked and the planning has begun.
I’m excited for the opportunity to test some new gear, which I’m hoping to use on the overnighter. I’m also interested to see how I feel the next day. Will I feel able to go two days in a row?
To be honest, I’m a little nervous. I’m pretty sure I’ll do fine. But my husband on the other hand has trouble with his feet – plantar fasciitis. Might be a disaster.
Next Sunday’s hike may prove to be a deal breaker with Ryan’s feet. Or I may be surprise by our lack of proper weighted-pack-wearing preparation. Or we might just kick some serious Dome Rock butt! Only the hike will tell!
Until then I’ll be researching the area, planning what to pack, and keeping you posted. A post hike review with pictures will defiantly be in the blog-future as well.
If you have any tips or suggestions, please send them my way. I could use all the insight I can get!