Approaching 70, Kathleen Canrinus takes one more backpacking trip with her daughter and her daughter's partner.
Congratulations on your book. I'm already looking forward to my trip to the high mountains this coming summer.
Oh, how I love this. I could smell the high country resins and feel the trickles of sweat down my neck, the balance-defying weight of a pack on my back. I almost cried while reading the final few paragraphs, the sweet sorrow of someday losing physical access to high mountain beauty so lovingly described. Brava!
How wonderful! Reminded me of many of my high sierra explorations, although I have never backpacked. They’ve all been day hikes. But the feeling is similar. :-)
Thank you for reminding me "DON'T WAIT" to walk the wild places.
Thank you for sharing this exquisite little piece. Right there with her, breathing in pines, sunning on granite, gobbling hard-earned trail food, forgetting for a few moments life as we typically live it.
I could see every tree, boulder, and blister! This was a beautiful tribute to life. My ashes will hopefully be spread at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, my touchstone. Thank you for your heartfelt words.
I can only imagine! Honestly for me, all nature provides perspective. I look forward to a day I can glimpse what you have!
Love this story!
I am turning 50 imminently and have not been back-country hiking in nearly ten years - but lately I have been feeling the call again, the need to condition myself for overland trips before it is too late. Thanks for this piece of writing, and the reminder that we can follow the path we set out for ourselves!
Thank you for this memoir of ￼getting Outdoors. I do love the East side too, but at this point, in recovery from a heavy-duty osteoporosis-induced fracture, I suspect I won’t be backpacking again. But what an utter privilege to have done it. ￼
That was such a great retelling of your trip; I felt like I was there! As an aging athlete I can relate to the diminishing of strength, confidence, and balance, and as a fairly new Colorado resident, I know the landscape and altitude. Thank you for sharing a poignant story. Your daughter and her partner sound like great women, too!
Oh Kathleen, I loved this and savored every word. As a lifelong hiker, backpacker, and wild outdoor adventurer who is about to turn 61, I don't get to read stories like this written by women very often. I have done similar hikes with my two sons in the Montana mountains when I was in my late 50s and they were early 20s. The contrast between what was so easy for them physically to what was so challenging for me is stark, but worth every step, especially in retrospect. Even when they reached the trailhead and our car an hour before I did and ate all the chocolate stashed in the car before I got back, haha. My sons, being young and very fit males, frequently asked if I was ok (they couldn't comprehend why I was so much slower). This post reminds me it's time to get out there again. Just go! And keep going until you can't.
Oh, Kathleen! This makes me so happy. I spent my entire childhood and young adulthood on the trail and had hoped my kids would inherit my affection for it, but despite their own childhoods up and down the Appalachian Trail, they aren't really fans. To be fair, though, I'm no longer a fan of sleeping on the ground. My bones and joints can't take it anymore. So, it's not likely we'd head off on trail adventures together these days anyway.
I admire your stamina and perseverance and how you have so clearly passed on this beautiful legacy.
Thank you for this; I love the Sierras (especially Eastern Sierras) and totally share the idea of ancestral longings that certain places give us. The high Sierra for me are that in a way I’ve never experienced elsewhere, and going to the Bristlecones for me is spiritual bliss. What a wonderful trip for you, your daughter and her partner! Thank you for sharing.
Wow, so excellent. An inspiration! My partner and I still hike in the Catskills, but no camping overnight. We do have plans for a biking trip in Italy, for which I will need to train. Thanks for sharing this amazing experience.