2013 – Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop

This was our first big backpacking trip. We spent 4 days and 3 nights completing this 27 mile loop and traversing 4 mountain passes each at about 12,500 feet of elevation. This was our first time ever even seeing Mountains and the views absolutely blew us away. Most of this trip occurred over 10,000 feet of elevation which was very challenging for us coming from sea level. We moved slowly and took many breaks. Everybody had a moment of strength where they took the lead and led the charge up a mountain. Most notably my sister channeled much of her power from the beautiful flowers that accompanied us on our trek. On the 2nd night our camp was invaded by porcupines. Porcupines have weird mineral deficiencies so they love to chew up any gear left out. One giant porcupine made loud crazy noises as it laid claim to a trekking pole that was left out. Finally, another backpacker got up and chased them out of our camp. On the long ascents, people descending kept telling us we were almost to the top, “Your almost there!” when we were definitely not almost there. This is a running joke for us to this day. We made friends with another group of hikers and they even tracked us down and invited us to hangout at their camp on our last night. Hayden wowed everyone with his high-powered laser that he pointed at all the nearby mountains. On the last day we were all ready to hike out as fast as we could and be done. As we got close to the finish we encountered crowds of tourists. Allegedly, I may have shoulder checked some oblivious guy who wandered into my path as I power hiked to freedom.

It’s funny looking back at some things we would never do on a backpacking trip now. I think everyone in our group is wearing cotton clothing. Cotton doesn’t dry well, it’s uncomfortable, and it gets really dirty. We don’t bring the frying pan on these trips anymore due to weight. The tents we used back then let rain inside immediately. Also, we never bother making fires anymore. They take too much time and energy plus we already stink enough as it is!