10. I CAN skip a rock!
9. A seven-year-old can beat me to the top of a mountain (way to go!).
8. Dehydrated Pad Thai doesn’t taste as good as it sounds. Dehydrated Fettuccine Alfredo on the other hand…
7. If a little girl gets a stick stuck four inches into her leg, you will wish you had brought rubbing alcohol. Don’t worry, they eventually found someone who had some and she’s fine.
6. Water filter pumps really work! I drank a TON of lake water and didn’t even get Giardia!
5. Apparently 30 mosquito bites is mild for five days in the wilderness.
4. People will get mad at you for not answering your phone even though you were on vacation for five days and hours away from getting any cell reception.
3. I’m too fat. Backpacking would be a lot more fun if I wasn’t hauling an extra 80 pounds of fat in addition to the 47 pound pack I was carrying. Then again, I feel like a total rock star: I was carrying more than anyone and I still made it to the top (last, but I still made it)!
2. TMI alert: Nothing feels better than taking a dump in a dirty gas station bathroom after you’ve had to squat, in the open, over a hole you dug yourself in the dirt/pine needles and go #2. Actually, #3. 4 times.
1. Hiking 12 hours in 5 days (and possibly, even pooping outside) is totally worth it when you experience the beauty of a clear, sparkling, blue-green lake that you have almost completely to yourselves and spending the afternoon swimming to rock islands, diving off rock cliffs, floating, sunbathing, and just enjoying the mountain scenery.