Homicidal Hikes: Backpacking the White Clouds

All photos taken with my iPhone
While scanning through all the Physical Activity courses offered at my community college, I landed on the second to last page, where my eyes lighted upon "Backpacking."
We have a backpacking class!? 
After debating over whether I should take it, I decided to enroll. It became a huge hassle with my work schedule, but after switching around shifts and working a double on Monday, I was able to clear up my weekend to go on the backpacking trip planned. 
Am I ever so glad I did too! Last weekend we took our trip out to the White Clouds Mountains out here in Idaho, and hiked up to see one of the Champion Lakes.
It was about a 3 1/2 mile hike in, and the incline was a killer. However, that view? worth it. 
We set up camp near the creek, and after a bit of sitting around the makeshift fire ring, we drifted off to our tents and fell asleep to the sound of running water, rain, and the boom of thunder. Thank goodness for the fly on our tents!
The next day, we woke up and packed our bags for a little day trip to Champion Lake. It was another 3 1/2 miles to reach the lake, and a bit of an incline on the way. We had an elderly lady in the group with us, whom I was worried about some of the time. However, she was a real trooper, and with some help and a few breaks along the way, she made it throughout the whole trip just fine.
Naturally, I had to get a photo of myself tree posing on a trunk in the lake. It was too perfect of an opportunity. Although the guy whom I asked to take the photo commented, "Wait, let me get out my camera so I can capture you falling in!" Haha, I'm glad to say my balance remained perfectly in tact. Though I have story to tell in a future post of me falling off my paddleboard when attempting a yoga pose on it...
Ahem. Anyway. Another time.
Overall, the experience of backpacking was a new way to do camping and was enlightening. While it had its struggles and difficulties, I found it invigorating in its challenge. Plus, the views we got to see were totally worth it. There is nothing like working hard, feeling your sweat run down your temple, and look up to see the stunning artwork God's placed before you. There truly is so much beauty hidden in my home state, and I'm only just now discovering what's out there. In a world overrun with technology, it's nice to escape into a part of your world that remains fairly untouched by that. I can't lie, I've started researching how much a decent backpack and other supplies would cost. I'd love to start taking trips like these of my own. 
Overall, we hiked 14 miles, and man, what a workout! Haha, although I was pleasantly surprised to find my fitness level was well matched and often above my companions. It's amazing how much tolerable discomfort becomes when you're in shape. My heart rate would settle faster, my breath remained even, and I was able to push my legs forward to match those of our group's leader and a fit young rancher that led the pack. At one point, I remember our teacher glancing back and smiling to see me keeping up so well.
"This hike's too easy for you, Linda! Want to take my pack the rest of the way up?"
I laughed breathily, because we were at a particular steep switchback when he said that.
"Um, how about you take mine, and then I'll race you up?"

The truth is, experiencing that outdoor trek made me even more determined to get myself in shape. I've been blessed with a fairly athletic body type already, and combined with an adventurous spirit, I know I could go far. Now to train myself into tip top shape!

Have any of you gone backpacking? What was your experience like?
Any campers out there? Share away in the comments!

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
Psalm 145:5
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Chezka Cenon Li said...

I have never done this - not because I don't want to, but because I never had the chance. Place looks amazing, so much fun Linda!

- Che

Tiana said...

I must admit: I'm not usually one for the outdoors. But this place, with your photos and the way you explained it, looks like something that I could really get into. I love your beautiful poses by the water - it seems so peaceful and serene. Thanks so much for posting and for changing my mind about the outdoors, haha! XOXO

Veronika Novotny said...

I'm so glad you decided to go. What an amazing experience, Martin & I used to hike at least 3 x a month a few years back. We were so addicted... hoping to do one at the end of September though. And way to go, tree pose, love that pic!! xoxo

nancy @ adore to adorn said...

I have not personally done this but know people who have. They definitely love it! I feel it's one of those things you either love or you hate...depending on your affinity for the outdoors and the camp life. Yay for you for enrolling and challenging yourself! Looks great!

Toks said...

Wow that definately beats the gym!! 14 miles? You're a real champion!!The photos are lovely and the place looks spectacular so I guess it was worth it. xoxoxoxo

thehonorableMissDecaf said...

This looks like so much fun! Hallelujah for strong bodies that do great things. You should make a habit of this! Like, every summer just take off camping. You should even come up to Maine. ;)


Unknown said...

I love your nature posts.
How cool that this experience was through a class! And that there was an elderly lady in it! Was there any course material throughout the trip? Like, did you learn proper backpacking techniques, stuff about the landscapes?

I really enjoyed this post. And beautiful pictures, as usual.

Sybil said...

wow.. this is amazing!!! :D this makes me want to go on a hike now! :D

Animated Confessions

Content Director - Strong Female Leaders said...

It's very nice seeing a stylish fashion blogger (like yourself) living life outside of fashion. As a fellow hiker (well, before kids I was), I thoroughly enjoyed your trip in the wilderness. Such pretty pictures. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Keit said...

Whoa, that's a hell of a big backpack :D And haha, omg, the yoga pose is priceless, I would have fallen in in no time. :D I love the views, everything looks so majestic O_O

Elizabeth said...

Whoah, I wish we had a backpacking class when I was in college. I would have loved to do something like this for credit!

Alexandra Zakharova said...

The opportunity to have such a trip is awesome, I believe you had a wonderful time there. The White Clouds Mountains looks so picturesque and magnificent, that it seems to be an illusion:) I would love to see it all with my own eyes too! Those photographs turned out so great, thank you for sharing, Linda!
Wish you a great day ahead!

I dare you to be fashion said...

great photos love! would u like to follow each other on bloglovin and facebook? let me know

Mica said...

What lovely scenery - it looks really beautiful!

While I admire nature, I love my home comforts more...haha! Backpacking and camping isn't my cup of tea :)

Away From The Blue

erika sorocco said...

I have never gone backpacking; but these images are making me want to. So gorgeous!


Love and Ace said...

That first shot is stunning! Looks like an an amazing trip - thank you for sharing these photos Linda! xx Kat

Love and Ace

renae said...

Tremendous post! Hiking is so good for you, for anyone. My onco dr still hikes to this day (she is 61) and she is a teeny little wisp of a gal. I swear her waist is about a 20 inches around. I swear it. I need to get back to hiking. I loved it in my day (30 yrs ago). I want to do everything super healthy now that I had chemo kick my butt! My onco just hiked in Australia in the past two weeks while on vacation. I guess onco can afford to go far away to hike?

love you sweetheart, ♥, Renae

czarianonuevo said...

I'm so glad we have fair glimpse of your backpacking experience!! i LOVE looking at the photos and reading your thoughts about this new adventure! thanks for this!

haven't gone backpacking but i would absolutely love to try!

czarina :)

A Very Sweet Blog said...

This is so gorgeous and therapeutic! Your pictures are awesome. So glad you signed up!

katie said...

Nice tree pose!
I so happy you were able to do this - backpacking is awesome and it really is so good for your soul just to get out there in the woods. If you ever come up to Ak, we'll totally have to go out on some trails! :) It's awesome that you were able to see how strong your body was as well, it really is so thrilling to feel that strength.

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