Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Our backpacking trip, by the numbers








My 9-year-old daughter and I joined some friends this weekend for a two-night backpacking trip to Pamelia Lake in the Mount Jefferson wilderness, a first-time experience for both of us. Here's a rundown of our trip, by the numbers:
  • Length of the drive from our house: 110 miles, one way
  • Time we arrived at the parking lot Friday: 6 p.m.
  • Length of the hike from the parking lot to the lake: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation increase from the parking lot to the lake: 800 feet
  • Elevation of the parking lot: 3,100 feet
  • Weight of my pack (borrowed from a friend): 46 pounds
  • Weight of my daughter's pack (rented from REI): 18 pounds
  • Number of times we stopped to rest: 9
  • Number of times the request came from the kid: 9
  • Number of times dad wished we could keep going: 0
  • Time we arrived at the lake: 7:45 p.m.
  • Additional hiking time spent (fruitlessly) looking for our friends: 45 minutes
  • Minutes after we set up camp that some of our friends found us and said we'd passed their site a quarter-mile back: 3
  • Time we got into our sleeping bags: 9:30 p.m.
  • Time we got to sleep: 11 p.m.
  • Time that a friend and his three kids arrived at the parking lot: 10 p.m.
  • Time they decided to hike in at night: 10:30 p.m.
  • Time they arrived at the lake: 1:15 a.m. (we know because we heard them stumble past our tent, though we didn't know it was them at the time)
  • Number of geese that woke us up at 5:30 a.m.: roughly 473 (OK, maybe 15)
  • Appreciation for the creativity of God as we watched the sunlight crawl down the south ridge above the lake: immeasurable (see the spliced panoramic photo above)
  • Distance from the lake to the summit of Mount Jefferson: about 2.5 miles as the goose flies
  • Time we saw our night-hiking friends the next morning: 11 a.m.
  • Minutes after we first saw them that our night-hiking friends told me we'd left the dome light on in my car: 4
  • Duration of the 4.6 mile hike to the parking lot and back: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Minutes after I returned that we decided we should move to our friend's site: 10
  • My mood on a scale of 1-10 after the hike and move: 1
  • Improvement on that same scale after I took a dive in the glacier-fed lake: +7
  • Number of people in our group: 9
  • Number who knew about that bees' nest under a root along the trail: 8
  • Seconds after I was warned that I was walking on top of that root that I got stung: 1
  • Length of hike we had just started when that happened: about 1.5 miles
  • Amount of time that the hike was in a creek instead of on a perfectly good trail: about 500 feet
  • Percentage of the time we were in the creek: 75 percent
  • Temperature of that water: about 40 degrees
  • Time it took for my toes to lose all feeling: about 3 minutes
  • How my bee sting felt after that: Bee sting? What bee sting?
  • Beauty of the waterfall they climbed, on a scale of 1-10: 9.5
  • Desire, on a 1-10 scale, to collapse upon return: 11
  • Number of visits during the weekend to a nearby stream to get drinking water: 3
  • Number of times during the hike to that stream that I wondered if there were bears in those woods: roughly 28
  • Number of bears seen: 0
  • Number of hunters seen carrying a bow and dressed like bigfoot: 1
  • Distance my heart jumped when I saw him the first time: 6 inches (the distance from my chest to my throat)
  • Number of s'mores eaten that night between the kid and me: 5
  • Number of times we told the two boys not to play in the fire: 42
  • Number of times they listened for more than 3 minutes: 2
  • Duration of the hike back to the car on Sunday: 70 minutes
  • Total rest stops taken on the way out: 4
  • Number of blisters on my feet: 2
  • Number of sore muscles: 640
  • Value of that time with a kid who's not getting any younger: priceless

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