My neighbor, Keith, invited me to go backpacking/camping with him. His life partner doesn't like to go anywhere that doesn't have a spa and cabana boys, and my husband is out of it for days after just mowing our postage-stamp sized lawn, so he and I went together. It's something that I've never done before, and it was a true challenge.
We left out on Thursday morning and got back this afternoon. We hiked close to 8 miles, but it was very rocky terrain with a lot of up-and-down through some of the West Virginia-Virginia mountains (the ridge we were on was along a state line). The first day we walked about four hours and started at about 1,500 feet above sea level and ended at about 3,000 feet -- and that was lugging a 35-pound backpack to boot! Though these pics are a bit foggy looking, this is at a site called White Rocks Lookout, which is on the ridge of the Little Sluice Mountains and looks over the Little Schloss Mountains in the foreground and the Blue Ridge Mountains further east. The green you see below are treetops waaaaay below us!
I did really well the first day, pretty damn good the second, and today was a bit hard as my feet were feeling a bit beaten up. By the second day I had gotten a pretty good blister on my left big toe on the inside, created from rubbing on my second toe. That got bandaged up this morning, but it was the impact pain on the bottoms of my feet that had me walking rather slowly. Other than that, my body held out very well -- not even any back pain, which I really expected since I have a bad back.
I slept in a hammock-tent and drank real spring water.
I built a fire and took an outdoor shower. We got drenched the first day and nearly experienced severe weather the second night. I came face-to-face with a couple beavers and a possum and saw more butterflies in one day than I've seen in 20 years. We didn't see a soul for the entire three days, and the only manmade sound we heard was the occasional plane flying over. Most of all, I DID IT!! I only wish I had gotten pictures of me lugging all that stuff around! :)