Backpackers traversing a hillside, Mt. Jefferson in the near distance

Every other week off the grid is not enough

Published 2022-08-26

Two weeks ago we were at the beach, not so much off-the-grid as grid-adjacent.

Last weekend we were in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness for a few days. It was some of the hardest hiking but easiest backpacking. We were between the mosquito and wildfire seasons. Most of the meadows and swamps were dry, but still plenty of water every few miles.

We took our Japanese housemate with us, who was a total trooper. She had never been backpacking… or camping… or hiking more than half an hour or so. I was reminded vividly of when I started backpacking at that age (early 20s) with older friends/colleagues (mid-30s to mid-40s). After an hour with the pack I thought it was intolerable … how could anyone do this for even two hours let alone weeks on end? And how can these old people walk so fast without stopping?