The Longest Five Miles at Point Reyes

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Our last day of backpacking at Point Reyes National Seashore was definitely a fun but tiring one, especially for me.  As you can see below, that's my daughter who slept in MY sleeping bag on MY sleeping pad.  She's a very outdoorsy toddler but she can be a little "princess" when she wants to be.  I also had to document this in the middle of the night.

My daughter has issues with sleeping (too many to list) but she has to sleep with me, not next to me but pretty much on top of me all night, it's rather tiring.  Long story short she was not comfortable because she did not have a sleeping pad so at some point in the middle of the night I gave up and let her sleep on my pad in my bag and I "slept" on the hard ground halfway out of her kid's sleeping bag.  I did not sleep well, I was cold and couldn't stay asleep, which set the tone for the rest of the day.  Thankfully I 'm a petite woman so I could almost fit into her sleeping bag.  Ah, what mothers do to make their kids sleep.

Stay hydrated when on the trail!!

The kids and Jesse woke up very refreshed but I did not.  My hips hurt from laying on the ground and I was cranky until I had coffee.  By the way, Starbucks Via Instant Coffee is wonderful, I don't think I could ever go backpacking without coffee or chocolate covered espresso beans.  Once I had my morning coffee and breakfast, I felt 100 times better and had energy to clean and pack up to start our five miles trek to the parking lot.  Five miles really did not seem like a long trek, but it sure felt like it.

We took the same trails that we took on our first day backpacking, but in reverse order: Glen Camp Loop Trail, Glen Trail, Bear Valley, Bear Valley.  It was a gentle down slope which really helped our kids hike a lot.  I am proud to say that my son hike the entire 5 miles to the parking lot! Partially because my husband and I were too tired to carry him but David has hiked 3-4 miles all by himself, we've seen him do it many times.  We had a constant steady flow of trail mix, dried fruit and most importantly chocolate for all of us, especially for the kids.  Jesse and I switched our "hiking buddies" quite often, but I hiked with my son most of the day.

I was really tired from not sleeping, which totally affected my hiking.  I was really slow and sluggish but I just masked it by hiking at my son's pace.  It allowed me to enjoy the beauty of Point Reyes once again.  We took lots and lots of breaks which also made us even slower and made my pack feel heavier and heavier.  As we hiked, all I could think about was what could I do to make my pack lighter but four people's worth of stuff in two people's backpack was just a lot, period.

One of our many breaks was the bridge that connects Glen Trail to Bear Valley Trail.  I held Sophia because she really wanted to go overboard into the river.  The parking lot was 3 miles from the intersection of Glen/Bear Valley Trail, so there were a lot of hikers (day and backpackers) and bikers.  One runner in particular stopped and congratulated us for backpacking with our kids.  She continued to tell us she knew how difficult it was because they had gone on a backpacking trip with their FOUR young children.  Goodness!! All I could think about was how heavy their packs must of been!  Some other hiker thanked me for bringing my kids outdoors.  It was very encouraging to hear nice comments from other people, since I needed to mentally push through my sluggishness and coaxed my son to continue hiking.

Jesse picked up Sophia and hiked as fast as he could to Divide Meadow.  David was tired and I was too tired to carry him so the both of us hiked extremely slow.  Jesse found our beautiful break spot at Divide Meadow, left his pack and came to "rescue" David and I.  The second David saw his daddy, he yelled "Daddy, I'm tired!!" and literally laid down on the trail and fell asleep for a minute!  Poor buddy was really exhausted.  We all made it back to our tree log bench and had our feast of Trader Joe's Salami, dried cranberries and Clif Bars to get some energy back in us.

Best thing about hiking is eating and taking breaks to enjoy the view!!

Western Fence Lizard

My love and Chasqui Mom, photo taken by my three year old!

Artistic photo by my three year old son!

My daughter in Divide Meadow.

After we recharged, we started on our last 1.5 miles or so to the parking lot.  It seemed like an eternity because the kids were completely done, Sophia wanted to "hike" a.k.a play in the dirt and David wanted to be carried and neither of us wanted to carry him.  Jesse was gracious enough to lighten my pack and carry some of my weight.  We started throwing every bribe we could to motivate David...McDonald's, candy, ice cream as long as he made it to the car.  We had about 0.25 miles left and David was really struggling so I ran to the car and dropped of my pack, and ran back to meet them on the trail.  David happily climbed on my back and we all made it back to the car together!


Distance hiked was 6 miles but the extra mile was probably due to the walking around on the trails chasing the kids.  It is a 5 mile hike from Glen Camp to Bear Valley Trail parking lot.

Elevation change was very gradual, high point about 600 ft, low point 150 feet.

Glen Camp Loop Trail - Glen Camp Trail - Bear Valley Trail

Overall, it was a rough day but as always we make the best of it.  A few days later the kids were asking to go "sleep in the tent" again.  I love my family and I love being outdoors with them.  Point Reyes was the best place to have our first "Pilot" family backpacking trip.  Three days and 17.5 miles of hiking with my family was wonderful!

Related Posts