At just a few days shy of 3 months, we decided our little family was ready to take Finn on his first backpacking trip! Infants are fairly easy to travel with, so we assumed camping would be no different. I was more nervous about Liam! Last summer we were still putting Liam in a pack for long hikes, but now he hikes by himself. That leaves quite a bit of potential for the unexpected! Regardless, we are enjoying our time in Utah to the fullest, so a backpacking we will go!
Last summer when I was a mere 5 weeks pregnant, we camped at Lake Catherine for the first time. We loved that spot and really wanted to make it back there! However, it's a long & tough trek for a toddler, so this time we hiked in from a different canyon to cut down on some of the distance. It was 1.75 miles to the lake with an elevation climb of 900 feet to traverse Catherine's Pass, still somewhat difficult. Especially considering I carried a heavy pack as well as Finn, while Conor carried about 40lbs of camping gear. Plus, he had to pick Liam up here & there. We guessed it would take us about 45 minutes to get to the lake. Reality....it took 2 hours, including one small break!
That night, we had a beautiful sunset while setting up camp. Liam could barely contain his excitement over the tent, sleeping bags, & dinner to be cooked campfire side. He even helped carry & collect wood. Sometimes his determination & strength amaze me! Other times, it's a tad frustrating... Like how he refused to let us carry his backpack for him even though he was so wobbly with it once exhaustion set in. The hike had been a bit tough on him, but the adventure once we arrived so more than worth it!
Shorty after dinner, Liam was asking to go to sleep (that's crazy talk)!!! I think he was mostly just excited to be in the tent, but a little tired too! By 9:30pm both boys were asleep while Conor & I cozied up in our camping hammock & enjoyed a few beers! There was an owl in a tree right next to our tent, and his hoots were such a beautiful thing to drift off to sleep to. Because Finn is just a rockstar, he still slept through the night & Liam only woke a handful of times just making sure I was right there next to him. With four people in one tent, I would call that a success!!!
The next morning, we woke up to a moose only about 50 feet from our tent! She was making all sorts of moose sounds and very interested in us! Liam was fascinated! Surprising nobody, Finn slept through it all. Then we spent some time on the beach of lake while Liam drove some cars in the mud and Conor & I soaked up the morning sunshine! We somewhat wished we were staying an extra night, but reality & a shower were calling.
The hike back to the car was far easier since it was mostly downhill the entire way. Liam was pretty beat from all the hiking the day before, but he was still a trooper. And... we may have promised him a cake pop on the drive home! It was an exhausting weekend, but one full of memories too! We're already planning on next trip, hopefully with friends next time and maybe even a two-nighter!
And lastly, a little humble brag about Conor! He puts in all the hard to make these trips happen! He packs & unpacks us. He's the pitcher of the tent, the maker of campfire dinners, & heavy load carrier. He makes our trips go as easy & flawlessly as possible! All these fun adventures would not happen without him. Perhaps one day, I will learn how to put up that damn tent...