You never forget your first really long backpacking trip. Those moments when you swear that you’ll never do it again. Muscles ache in your neck and back that you didn’t even know you had. You reach a point where your feet feel like bloody stumps and all you want to do is get your damn boots off and stick them in a bucket of ice. You become sick of trail mix & beef jerky and the combination of sweat and sunscreen has you feeling like you’re covered in paste. Finally you get to camp. You get your boots off and jump in an alpine lake which is cold enough for polar bears but you’ve never felt so good in your life. You sit around the fire, have a good meal and laugh with the people you love. Then you all sit in silence and watch a sunset that simply takes your breath away. Finally, as you lay exhausted in your sleeping bag gazing up at the star-filled heavens in awe, you find yourself thinking “damn, this is so awesome, I can’t wait to do it again.”

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