We survived our craziest llama/child adventure ever this week as we hiked over Bishop Pass down to LeConte Canyon and back the next day. The 24-mile trek is steep, rocky and difficult — and that's without three llamas and a 5-year-old.
On the top of the 12,000-foot mountain pass, the sky was dark, thunder roared and hail pelted us. Here's Ediza covered in a tarp after we weathered the storm. She's quite the trooper!
We ended up arriving in the canyon at dusk to resupply our friends who are hiking the John Muir Trail. The three girls hiking the JMT go to (or recently graduated from) Ediza's school. We then hiked up to our campsite in the dark.
Here's Amber and Ediza dancing on a bridge on our way back up to the pass. Once we were up and over the celebration stopped as one of the llamas, Tenario, decided he was officially done walking. Instead of returning as we had planned, we had to camp an extra night in the cold, howling wind.
Ediza took this picture of the view from our sleeping bags (of course we had no tent and are getting very low on food at this point). The next day we went into survival mode as we were physically and emotionally exhausted. Tenario would only walk a couple of steps before sitting down again. It took us most of the day to hike less than four miles and get him out of there.
There was a party in the parking lot as Tenario approached with an entourage of people feeding him produce and singing to him. At one point, someone even performed Reiki on him as he sat on the trail. Tenario is now at home and officially retired!
Challenges make us stronger and we are grateful that everyone — both people and llamas — made it out safely. For motivation and inspiration, I kept thinking of this famous Helen Keller quote: "Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."