I have long enjoyed ambitious hikes and mountain climbs, but was never motivated to backpack and spend the night on the trail. I guess I felt like hiking was so much more enjoyable without carrying the heavy load on my back the whole way, and spending a sleep deprived night in the wilds.
Suzanne has done an annual three day backpacking trip with her lady friends the last few years, and this year it grabbed my imagination. So she and I did a short trial backpacking overnight trip at the coast, and, even though we got rained on, I thought it was great. We managed to get two more backpacking trips in before the weather turned, and I thoroughly enjoyed both. Suzanne wrote a great blog post about our most ambitious one, including photos of the spectacular trail here.
Sure, it's more work to carry the pack, but sleeping in the tent in the wilds is actually a plus. By spending the night (or nights) on the trail you can venture further. And what's not to like about the quiet outdoors the evening and early morning? The dinner meal cooked over our portable stove is absolutely delicious. And there is that powerful sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for being self sufficient out there on your own. It's also a real plus that this is something Suzanne and I really enjoy, and can do together. And a blessing that we have the physical capacity and the beautiful Pacific Northwest in our backyard.
We can't wait for spring to get back on the backpacking trail!