Hi, All, I just did my first overnight backpack trip at the age of 62. I loved it! The person I went with was a veteran backpacker, so I felt confident that we would have a successful experience. It was quite an adventure! We ended up camping on the east side of Mt St Helens below the crater in the blast zone. I found out after we got home that there is no camping in the blast zone. We did not seeing a ban on camping overnight posted on the information board near the trailhead. The view from our campsite was magnificent! Spirit Lake at our feet and billions of stars overhead. The wind came up in the night and we had to re-stake the rain fly and anchor it with large rocks to keep it from blowing off. I know why its named Windy Ridge. 5 miles in and back. I loved it. Gladys
Welcome - glad to hear you had such a great trip. Going with someone who knows what they're doing really helps - and your friend really must know, since he/she limited the mileage and the number of nights, and chose a beautiful spot. The whole idea of a first trip is to get someone hooked, not "make a man" out of them (I got ostracized from the local Scouting brethren for pointing this out, and they continued sending their charges on 17 mile death marches up and over a mountain, with little water and nothing to really look at - but they did it without me.)
Anyhow, back to you. Keep at it, and post frequently!
Thank you. Yeah, it was a great first time trip. We had originally planned on hiking Siouxan Creek near Mt Adams, but it was closed for road repairs due to a slide. So, our decision to switch to Windy Ridge was spur of the moment and we were not able to do the usual back ground research. But, it all went well enough for me to be hooked. Now, I want to do a solo hike around Timothy Lake near Mt Hood before it closes for winter. I plan on taking a full pack to the walk in campground that is half way around the lake. It will be fun!
Welcome to the hiking community Gladys, good to hear that you liked it. Just start in your own pace and build experience and suitable gear as you go. If you may hike with someone experienced it is easier of course, but I'm sure you are soon ready for a solo trip also. do not let the absence of others deter you from hiking.
I'm now 64, and two years ago I came on a winter trip to a hut that was still warm. When looking into the hut register I found that those that had just been there were two men that both could have been my father (age wise of course ). Enjoy the nature, the best place to be.
Btw as the weather looks good here I'm off to some summit a couple of hours drive away for the weekend. Pictures here http://ut.no/hytte/taakeheimen/bilder just to make you envious. The hut is close to a glacier at 1100metres, and the summit is 1464 metres high. I'll hike to the hut and the next day take the summit.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Norway is a truly beautiful country, with really friendly people. It was the highlight of my 6 months in Europe! Definitely start saving, Tom!
Gladys, Indian Heaven (in Washington north of Carson) and the Olallie Lakes Scenic Area are both great places for a beginner backpack, especially in the fall after the bugs die down. Because of the late snowmelt this year they are still rather buggy, but hopefully the freeze warning for tonight will reduce the bug population a bit!
Edited by OregonMouse (09/16/1102:30 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey