Job #5 Recap: Backpacking Guide

This week I'm in Dallas, Texas to work with the Dallas Market Center and learn all about the wholesale business!

Before I jump into blogging about this week, here's a recap about last week. I worked with Peak 7, a nonprofit in Spokane, Washington on one of their 5-day backpacking trips. To read my first 2 blogs about last week, click here for part 1 and here for part 2.

After surviving our first night in the wilderness, we woke up to soggy boots outside out tents. There are times in life when you ease your way into something, but we sure didn’t ease into hiking! After eating our standard breakfast of instant oatmeal, we loaded our daypacks with granola bars, filtered water, and raingear and hit the trail.

We had three amazing guides on the trip, Nicole, Laura, and Lo. For the first day of hiking, they announced we would summit a mountain called “Stiletto Peak” by the end of the day. Hearing “stiletto” made me think of high-heels and glamorized the idea of hiking to the top of the mountain. Let’s just say I missed the memo that we would be walking 3 miles up a mountain! That may sound like nothing, but we counted the number of switchbacks (alternating hills up the mountain) and there were close to 30 hills we climbed.

The view from the Stiletto Peak lookout was phenomenal! After celebrating our summit for a bit, we headed back down the mountain and capped the day off with cup of noodles.

The next day, we woke up to rain so everyone squeezed into the same tent to relax and eat oatmeal together.

Beautiful sunlight finally appeared so all of us girls hit the trail once again, but this time en route to McCallister Lake. After hiking 4 miles, we arrived and had a great time swimming and having quiet time in the wilderness.

To wrap up our week, we hiked 3.5 miles on Friday back to the car. A short drive later, the dozen of us arrived to a family's house to camp for the night. Lauren, one of the backpacking guides, had family in the area who offered to grill a meal for the girls when we finished our backpacking and let us set up tents in their yard. It was an absolute treat to enjoy real food, play volleyball, and sleep in a tent on their lawn.

I am so glad I came to Washington to see what it's like to be a backpacking guide! Not only did I learn a lot about non-profits and the outdoors, but I also learned how to better relate to teenagers.

Favorite part of the week?

Each night, Peak 7 encourages a few of the girls to share their personal story about life. I loved hearing each girl share her story of growing up and about both her successes and struggles. During "spotlight" time, I really got to learn about each of the trip participants and that was more special than climbing a mountain any day!

Least favorite part of the week?

It was hard to go without a shower for 5 days. I can go without for a few days, but showers are definitely a necessary luxury!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Due to a crazy travel schedule and fast-paced job this week, I am a bit behind on blogging. Please keep watching for new blogs this week and to make it easier, bookmark this link to access all my posts.

-Kieley Best

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