gallery Aspen Patch via Battle Creek Falls

A lesson you learn quickly while backpacking, food matters! We’ve gotten to the point that we eat only vegan / vegetarian food from Outdoor Herbivore, because it’s lots of grains that naturally cook quickly (couscous, quick cook rice, quinoa, chia seeds, etc.) plus oils and seasoning. No matter what your stomach does eating a big bowl of quinoa with fatty oils will always taste good. When you start trying to dehydrate beef stew and potatoes that’s when things can go seriously wrong because it is overly processed with chemicals. There’s nothing worse than making the mistake of bringing the wrong stuff and you suffer with stomach issues: diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, and worst of all vomiting. Well, Ryan experienced the latter on this trip. We tried a new jerky / protein bar and Ryan got sick. The fear and panic that runs through your head at that point: is it altitude sickness, is it food poisoning, and worst of all…AM I GOING TO GET SICK TOO?! Luckily, it was just the protein bar / beef jerky this time. Once it was out of Ryan’s system, we were all good to go as it were. No more experimenting with food.

Besides our little food adventure, we had a wonderful trip. The hike was short, ~3 miles, but you climb 2,400 feet. It was a good test to see where our legs were in terms of conditioning. We both found the hike easier than the last time we did it as a backpacking trip in 2014. We left at about 11:30 AM and once we past Battle Creek Falls, we had the trail to ourselves.  Instead of camping at Indian Campground by Grove Creek Springs, we decided to camp at the aspen patch along with a herd of deer. What a perfect campsite!!

For our first backpacking trip of the season, we got to try our new hiking poles. Sadly after 12 years with our first set of hiking poles, we were no longer able to mend them. Those poles have seen the miles and been to a lot of great places. I almost want to find a way to hang our old hiking poles on the wall! We also tried out a new cooking pot and gravitation water filter. Pumping water is exhausting and they’ve made great new advances in gravitation water filtration. The new cooking pot collapses, so it gives a ton more room in our packs. So far, it is awesome. The gravitation water filtration was also the bees knees. Looks like we are geared up for a great summer of backpacking. Let’s just hope for more good times and no more stomach issues.

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