I have wanted to get my daughter out for her first backpacking trip for some time now. This summer has been tough for us with how busy we have been, but I was not gonna let it end without getting my buddy out in the wilderness with us. We set off from the Crystal Lake trail head on a very cloudy day, and started the walk in. We passed Washington Lake and made our way through a set of nice meadows with great views of the peaks in the area. We then found our way through the woods eventually coming to Tail Lake. We continued on, making our way through a swampy section of the trail that climbed for a bit before drying out and leveling off. After about two miles we found ourselves at camp for the night at Shadow Lake. This is a pretty lake, and had a very wilderness feel to it. We set up shop and gathered firewood, then got things ready for the evening. While my wife and daughter were playing in the woods, I slipped down to the lake for some fly fishing. I threw a renegade at them and after about four casts I had a nice 14" Tiger Trout on the line. Just as I got him out to remove the fly, he wiggled out of my hand and back into the lake.
So much for a picture, but my wife and daughter were impressed. Evening set in and we got a fire going and we made dinner. The light was so cool with all the clouds in the basin. After the main course, my daughter got to enjoy a nice campfire s'more, her very first one in the backcountry! I think she enjoyed it, as she had marshmallow all over her face. I think after the s'more she was beat, so she headed for our tent, and we tucked her in for the night. Me and my wife stayed up for a bit, enjoying some time together which is so rare these days. A light sprinkle began as we were turning in, and we crawled into our bags to get some much needed rest. I awoke to it raining hard outside, and the girls still sleeping. I just layed there, slipping in and out of sleep for a few more hours, as the rain went pitter patter on the fly, making that soothing sound I really love. Knowing that there was a low pressure coming in from the south that day, we got up, had a snack, then packed up camp and made for the car.
It was a bit soggy in sections, but my daughter and wife handled it like champs. We strolled through the forest, enjoying the sun peeping in and out as we walked through the woods. We eventually found ourselves back at the car, wishing we had a few more days out there. This was a great introduction to backpacking for my daughter, and I think this is the start of something great! I saw fall colors on Hwy 150 starting to pop, so only a few more weeks and winter will return to the high terrain. I have a few more adventures on tap before I pull out the winter gear. This party is not over yet, more adventures to come.