Why yes, I do like backpacking!

One great perk of being one half of a two part duo (i.e. this new thing I'm experiencing some people like to call marriage), is that I can say "Hey, Porter, let's go _______ next weekend" (fill in the blank with any high or low adventure, passing thought of an idea of an activity that may be more fun than sitting around and staring at a wall [not that I knock staring at walls, it's one of my favorite past times]) and no matter how passive or half-hearted my suggestion, if it's a good one, it might actually happen. Sometimes this is meeting up in Issaquah after work for a waltz around Target (our crazy weekday nights, I know), sometimes it's a walk around the neighborhood.

This weekend it was backpacking.

Now, I like backpacking.  At least was pretty sure I did when warm weather forecasts and a rare open weekend prompted me to suggest it earlier this week.  There are a number of hobbies I have thought I liked more than I do in reality.  Many of these are carryovers from college, when new hobbies and interests are introduced rapid fire.  Many are carryovers from old boyfriends, or love interests, when new hobbies and interests, no matter how dull, carry an extra sense of allure.  I am slowly but surely working out which interests I say I have, I'm actually interested in.  Oil painting is fun, but not worth the expensive and stinky supplies (I'm currently trying out oil pastels with positive internal reviews); I could never quite get into the oomph of kick boxing (yoga, please);  I do like climbing it, just not as much as a series of men in my life made me think I did (one to two routes is really plenty, I mean it).
My "Do I like this?" face
This weekend was a litmus test to see where backpacking falls on my Actual Current Interest meter, where I'm not kidding myself or trying to prove anything to anyone around me.  I can admit it: I like car camping.  Shove it, lightweight back-country snobs of my college years, that's what I say.  There's value in being able to dump an air mattress and cooler full of food in the trunk of your car, dumping it out for a night or two and enjoying fresh air and the novelty of outdoor cooking.
Tellin those streams who's boss

But wait, car camping isn't the end all. Backpacking is great too!  My brand new backpack (a wedding gift from coworkers) fits like a dream and my impulse buy hiking shoes from Nordstrom Rack over a year ago are oh so waterproof and comfortable.  Yes, my feet are sore and I have bruises on my apparently freakishly protruding hip bones where my pack balanced the weight.  But oh what a view.  And what a moment of peace.  This weekend was spot on perfect weather, almost hot enough to jump into a snow-fed lake.  We hiked in about 3 miles to Talapus Lake, camped there for the night, spent all day Saturday crossing streams and boulder fields and more snow banks than I would have thought would still be around, returned back to our campsite for the night.  Pratt Lake, Ollalie Lake, Island Lake... and beyond (that's high on nature talking).  Sunday morning we hiked out with enough time to sleep in, unpack, and give final tweaks to the bitchin' lessons we each gave at church.
Can't quite see here but Mt. Rainier is in the background

"Hells yeah I like backpacking!"

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