This impromptu family trip came together on just a few days planning. There was some time between the trip with the boys from Texas and my upcoming second attempt to put together a Baxter-IAT loop. Rather than sit home thinking about that looming over my head, a few days of relaxing at one of our favorite spots seemed like a great idea.
Whoops! Our spot, Long Pond Pines, was only available the second night, but we soldiered on by booking the Long Pond Outlet for the first. The plan called for starting from the trailhead near Trout Brook camp and looping around Trout Brook Mt counter clockwise. This trail was new to all of us, but we knew the distance was in our daughter’s range.
The trailhead seemed a bit confusing with three different trails leaving directly from the parking area. The girls actually started up the wrong trail that would have taken them straight up the mountain, but I caught them before they took more than a few steps.
The trail was moderately even with rolling ups and downs. It sees enough traffic from day hikers to keep it well trod and easy to follow. In one of the low sections we came across this beaver dam just up from the trail with a small pond forming behind it.
It was a warm and muggy day so we were happy to find the short side trail to our camp. There was plenty of room for tents at the site, but it didn’t seem as open to the breeze as the spot on the other side of the pond. We went topless to catch what breeze we could in the tent and to watch the stars.
Unlike previous trips where we paid for canoe use by the hour the ranger at the gate asked us for two days worth of fees. Since it was paid for I hiked over to where they are stored and paddled it back to our camp. Well first I made the mistake of exploring the pond a bit and had to fight a strong, afternoon headwind to get back to where the girls were. It has been a while since I paddled alone and the wind had some fun with me before I eventually returned to camp.
The outlet looked to be barely flowing, but the air was filled with the sound of frogs, birds and bugs. This looked like a great spot for a moose to wander through, but family trips tend to be a bit too noisy for them to get close.
Once the afternoon breeze died down the pond became like glass. I love the reflections the mountains leave in these ponds. It is hard not to feel peaceful when looking at the reflections and listening to nature’s music.
We went out for a family paddle in the morning. Then later when it was time to move camp the girls walked over while I took most of the gear in the canoe. It certainly seemed like a relaxing way to travel.
Speaking of relaxing the plants around the water’s edge were certainly easy on the eyes. That feeling didn’t extend to the ears though due to some unusual “barking” frogs that lined this side of the pond. I’ve never heard this particular sound before despite having camped at this pond several times previously.
Still it is hard not to feel at peace when looking at floating water plants. The girls spent some time splashing in the pond to cool off, but I was happy to just sit on the hill and soak in the day.
The roof was on the tent just in case, but furled to preserve the view. The Trail Ridge 3 is hard to fit between the roots at this site, but sleeping next to the pond is always restful.
Speaking of which, after a long hard day of play our daughter decided a nap was in order. Good thing she got her rest because the walk out the next day seemed a bit harder than the walk in. Maybe it was the heat, but we were all ready to be done by the time we reached the car.
Definitely worth the effort though! These moments when we all are out there together are so special. The downside is that my solo trips feel much more alone after one of these family adventures.
I’ll leave you with this quick video of moments from this family adventure. Hope you’ve had a chance to get out there with those you enjoy spending time with this summer. There is never enough time, but that is all the more reason to get out there when you can!
Looks like a beautiful trip! BSP one of my absolute favs!
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