Backpacking with Yonder Buds in Harriman State Park
"A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles." ~ Tim CahillThe first half of the journey back was relatively flat, although still ridiculously rocky, as it followed along the shore of Pine Meadow Lake. It really is a beautiful little mountain lake with a couple of pretty cool, although prohibited, camping spots along the shore. Apparently swimming is prohibited here as well, which is really a shame as this would make for a great place to bring the kids backpacking. After we made it around the lake we were in for another steep ascent. This one might have been the worst of the climbs we did on the trip, mostly because of how tired and sore we already were. But the view from the top overlooking the lake was incredible and we knew that it would probably be the last of the climbs so it was bearable. The descent down had some pretty cool rock scrambles. There were a few places where I had to lift Buddy and set him down and we all had to shimmy down or slide down on our butts. After the last one, Lauren said to me with a big smile, "That was the awesomest part of the trip!". She was right. But for me, it wasn't just scrambling down the rocks that made it the best part, it was seeing the huge smiles on the faces of the girls while they did it. And they didn't just do it, they did it with a heavy pack on their back, one while overcoming a fear of heights, another a fear of just tripping and falling, and I couldn't be happier for, or prouder of, each one of them. You ladies rock!
You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind." - Dale CarnegieAs the adrenaline wore off from the descent it was time to find a spot to take a break and have some lunch. We were now down out of the mountains for the last time and were walking along the Stony Brook. We found a great little spot with some rocks along the water were we could relax for a bit and enjoy the peaceful babbling of the brook. It was another hour or so back to the car and the remainder of our journey was pretty quiet. It's always bittersweet as you get near the end of a trip like this. You're tired and sore and want nothing more than a hot shower, some greasy food, and the comfort of your own bed. But you know the minute you leave the trail you'll start missing it and daydreaming about getting back out there again.
"Happiness only real when shared." ~ Christopher McCandlessI've done a lot of solo trips over the past few years and I've always felt like there was something missing during them. And while it's always nice to find some solitude while you're getting lost alone in the woods, I have truly come to realize that these journeys are definitely better when they are shared. Until next time. Namaste!
Here's some more pictures from my adventure in Harriman State Park