first family backpacking trip in July, my husband and I scheduled another one for September. We decided we would go to one of our favorite spots--The Table in the Mount Moriah Wilderness in the North Snake Range. It was just a two mile hike up to the Table via the Big Canyon trail. Of course, that didn't account for all the elevation change! There's no water available up there, so we had to plan our water carefully.
As we hiked the downhill section, the kids were cooperating.
But then we had the steep uphill part, and that wasn't nearly so much fun. Desert Girl shed her backpack, but still had enough energy to sing (big eye roll from mom on that).
Desert Boy wanted to stop all the time. I won't lie, it wasn't exactly fun cajoling them to keep going and listening to "When are we going to be there?"
Fortunately the scenery was spectacular with the changing colors.
And soon we were in view of old bristlecones. My step grew lighter, my heart happier, and I felt wonderful.
My husband didn't care where on the Table we camped, so I picked a spot where we would have a good view of the mountain.
The ground looks flat from a distance, but finding something not too rocky took a little time. Eventually we succeeded, and then it was exploration time.
But not for too long, because it was getting dark. We set up the camp and got some soup simmering.
As the evening progressed, I saw that the clouds would make for a wonderful sunset. I had wanted to take a bunch of Milky Way photos, but with the clouds they wouldn't turn out well. I decided to make the best of the situation and just enjoy sunset.
Oh my, it was magical. The glow of the light on the trees was gorgeous, and I was practically skipping around. I think my husband thought I was slightly nuts. Or maybe very nuts.
This was one of the primary reasons I wanted to sleep on the Table, to experience the wonderful times of day that I had never been on the Table.
We all really liked this young bristlecone being hugged by the old one.
Little did we know there would be a surprise in the middle of the night...