Author Topic: Me and my daughter  (Read 3091 times)

mtman

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Me and my daughter
« on: July 08, 2010, 05:40:36 PM »
I wrote this a few months ago for my blog. This took place in 1995.

Flattop Mountain watches out over Anchorage, Alaska in the Chugach State Park, sitting at an elevation 3550 feet. From the trailhead it’s a three mile round trip with an elevation gain of 1252 feet. On a clear day you can see Mt. McKinley (150 air miles away) and Mt. Redoubt (Volcano) from the summit. It’s not a hard hike for a physically fit person. But Christy is about nine years old at this time so dad, (me) has to carry most of the load for our overnight trip. Christy has a small bag with all her essentials, i.e. Teddy bear. Me, I’m straining with my 3500 cubic inch backpack with food, water, sleeping bags and other goodies. I left the tent behind opting for just the rain fly since mosquitoes are not usually a problem that high. This saved me about ten pounds backpack weight and probably twenty pounds body fluid weight that I would have sweat out getting that load up the mountain.

This over night backpacking expedition is Christy’s birthday present. She asked for it as well as Barbie’s et. Kind of an unusual request for a nine-year-old girl but it wasn’t surprising. I use to talk about it all the time having spent a few nights up there myself. I use to run the mile and a half as exercise once a week with a goal of beating thirty minutes: my first time was close to an hour. The average hiker does this trail in two hours. I did make my under thirty minute goal with about five seconds to spare. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest and my lungs burst.

Most of the hike is a series of switchbacks going to and fro. The last part is the most difficult with a little vertical ascending involved. So me, my overweight backpack and a nine-year-old girl are trying to get up to the top. Did we make it? Of course we did. This would be a boring story had we not.

It is very rocky at the top with no vegetation and very few good places to lay a sleeping pad and bag. I found a nice place in-between some large rocks using them as a windbreak. We set up camp (which meant clearing small rocks out of the way that would otherwise stab our backs that night), hooked up the rain fly using rocks to secure it and then explored the top finally settling to bed in our warm sleeping bags in the forty degree air.

I think we were the only people to spend the night up there that night. We woke once and looked out. Christy was amazed that she was looking down on the clouds about two hundred feet below us with more all around us shedding their cool mist on us. She was thrilled!

The next day we ate breakfast and explored some more. We later watched people paraglide off the side of the mountain. Very cool! We watched Anchorage below us with the Cook Inlet on two sides. It was so very beautiful. We tried to find landmarks like our house, grandma’s house and downtown buildings we knew. It was one


Life Stories
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Thursday, April 29, 2010Christy’s Flattop Birthday


"But Christy is about nine years old at this time so dad, (me) has to carry most of the load for our overnight trip. Christy has a small bag with all her essentials, i.e. Teddy bear."

Flattop Mountain watches out over Anchorage, Alaska in the Chugach State Park, sitting at an elevation 3550 feet. From the trailhead it’s a three mile round trip with an elevation gain of 1252 feet. On a clear day you can see Mt. McKinley (150 air miles away) and Mt. Redoubt (Volcano) from the summit. It’s not a hard hike for a physically fit person. But Christy is about nine years old at this time so dad, (me) has to carry most of the load for our overnight trip. Christy has a small bag with all her essentials, i.e. Teddy bear. Me, I’m straining with my 3500 cubic inch backpack with food, water, sleeping bags and other goodies. I left the tent behind opting for just the rain fly since mosquitoes are not usually a problem that high. This saved me about ten pounds backpack weight and probably twenty pounds body fluid weight that I would have sweat out getting that load up the mountain.

This over night backpacking expedition is Christy’s birthday present. She asked for it as well as Barbie’s et. Kind of an unusual request for a nine-year-old girl but it wasn’t surprising. I use to talk about it all the time having spent a few nights up there myself. I use to run the mile and a half as exercise once a week with a goal of beating thirty minutes: my first time was close to an hour. The average hiker does this trail in two hours. I did make my under thirty minute goal with about five seconds to spare. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest and my lungs burst.

Most of the hike is a series of switchbacks going to and fro. The last part is the most difficult with a little vertical ascending involved. So me, my overweight backpack and a nine-year-old girl are trying to get up to the top. Did we make it? Of course we did. This would be a boring story had we not.

It is very rocky at the top with no vegetation and very few good places to lay a sleeping pad and bag. I found a nice place in-between some large rocks using them as a windbreak. We set up camp (which meant clearing small rocks out of the way that would otherwise stab our backs that night), hooked up the rain fly using rocks to secure it and then explored the top finally settling to bed in our warm sleeping bags in the forty degree air.

I think we were the only people to spend the night up there that night. We woke once and looked out. Christy was amazed that she was looking down on the clouds about two hundred feet below us with more all around us shedding their cool mist on us. She was thrilled!

The next day we ate breakfast and explored some more. We later watched people paraglide off the side of the mountain. Very cool! We watched Anchorage below us with the Cook Inlet on two sides. It was so very beautiful. We tried to find landmarks like our house, grandma’s house and downtown buildings we knew. It was one of those moments that a proud dad will treasure the rest of his life.

The trip down was not near has hard except for the initial climb down. It can be a dangerous trip and many people had been seriously hurt up there, even killed. We made it with no injuries and with a lifetime of great memories of a weekend with just dad and daughter

mtman

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Re: Me and my daughter
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010, 05:48:53 PM »
Sorry for my messed up post. I tried to fix it but I couldn't edit. I don't know if it's my computer or the web site.

Offline flagtag

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Re: Me and my daughter
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 07:57:36 PM »
Hey! Who cares?  It was a GREAT story! :D
Just think of the lifetime memory you both created!
Thanks for sharing.

Offline BatonRouge Bill

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Re: Me and my daughter
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 09:01:52 PM »
Hey! Who cares?  It was a GREAT story! :D
Just think of the lifetime memory you both created!
Thanks for sharing.
Ditto awsome story!