If I’d had the courage to attempt Enchanted Valley by myself, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the flowers, the scenery, and the wildlife, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much I did doing it with “family:” daughter Dawn, son-in-law Rich, Santi (Gavin and Lael’s Spanish big brother), Gavin, and Lael:
I’ve taken many hikes with grandkids and loved every one of them, but there’s something very special about going with grandkids to the same National Park that you took your first hike with your own kids.
It’s comforting to know you’re not the only one that needs a break when you’re trudging uphill carrying a 40+ pack.
It’s reassuring to know that it’s not just old age that’s wearing you down.
There’s also something special about working together to fulfill the most basic needs —like having enough water.
Of course, it’s only later, when you’re safely home, that you realize how much we take for granted.
It’s also nice to have someone to give you a high-five when you’ve overcome an obstacle,
and I’m not sure I would have made it across this bridge if I’d been alone because I really hate high, narrow bridges, particularly when I’m dead tired from carrying a pack six miles before I got to it.
And you can’t overlook perhaps the most important reason to go backpacking, to take the time to just sit back and do nothing at all except look at waterfalls cascading down high cliffs.
This hike was also special in that we got to know several hikers because the valley was crowded with the upper parts of the park inaccessible because of unusual amounts of snow. I didn’t really take pictures of them because I tend to avoid taking pictures of people without first asking their permission.
However, Santi wanted his picture taken with “Kris the Mountainman” who was especially generous to us and shared campfires with us two of the four nights we were out.
He’s a park volunteer and hoping to get on as a Park Ranger. I’m sure everyone in our group thought he would make a great one. He certainly knew the area well and was helpful to all of us.