Backpack 2011 (& ants in my pants)

Campsite Independence Creek, Pan Handle National Forest, ID

Icey Crossing

We can’t decide if it’s been 7, 8 or 10 years since we backpacked. I wasn’t sure we could still do it. We hiked hiked this trail in 1995 when Leigh was entering 2nd grade. She still remembers it as: “the best backpack ever” because it had 22 stream crossings. Leigh really got into it when we told her she could splash through with her hiking shoes on. I swear the trail was only 5-6 miles long then and we made it to the end and then wished we hadn’t because we had to camp in a large  truck rut or something similar.

Now the trail is 7.5 miles long but we only had six big crossings. This time we camped in a beautiful meadow about 4 miles in. We explored another mile or so up the trail but were completely happy with our spot . A couple mountain biking who waved as they whizzed by our campsite were the only people we saw all Saturday. We saw two groups of bikers Sunday for a total of 7 people in two days so I’d say this area is pretty lightly used. The nature highlight was surprising two deer who jumped across the brush like antelope. I’ve never seen deer jump like that before almost like kangaroos. The other great thing was our campsite by the babbling creek. Our new tent is practically all screen windows and given the blue sky we didn’t see any reason to put on the rain-fly. The moon rising early from behind the mountains was just about as bright as our Spokane neighbor’s obnoxious street light. It was certainly a welcome change of pace from the backyard.

View Independence Creek

The only downside of the trip is how sore we are today. Dennis groans every time he’s required to do stairs.  This is made up for by how much fun he had at work today telling all the outdoorsy types how I got ants in my pants.

I choose a nice grassy hill to relieve myself.  I soon felt some sharp stings and realized my shoes and more were swarming with angry biting ants.  I yelled to Dennis a couple of times but he was employing his wife tune out gear as best he could.  When he finally meandered over he wondered why I had my pants, shirt and shoes off.  “You were the one worried that our big windowed tent might be too visible from the trail and here you were dancing around in your underwear.”  He got the camera to take a picture, not of me but of the many angry ants.  It’s not very impressive ant picture.

  There is also one of me filtering watering licking my wounds in comforting scenery.

Licking my ant wounds & filtering water at campsite.


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