Learning to Expect the Unexpected: Backpacking Eight Mile Lake

After looking forward to this weekend for months, the time was finally here. The only issue was that I no longer had anyone to go with. Since not going was not an option I looked towards my social media friends. Sure enough after only a short time I found a friendly couple to tag along with me for the weekend.

Meeting at the trailhead at 9:00 AM, we started the hike and were quickly welcomed by this view - it was shaping up to be a great day. 

kelly dona backpacking eight mile lake this world exists thisworldexists

We ran into trouble. My friend needed to stop for a break. I didn't think anything of it, except that it might take awhile to get to the lake since we were only about .5 miles in and already taking our first break. One break turned into several and eventually she got sick. She kept encouraging me to continue to the lake without her and her husband, but with several bear sightings in the past week, I was hesitant to hike alone. 

As an older couple approached us, I latched onto them to give my friend some space, and agreed to meet her and her husband at the lake. I had a great time conversing and laughing with the couple and before we knew it, we reached Eight Mile Lake and had this breathtaking view as our lunchtime scenery. 

kelly dona backpacking eight mile lake this world exists thisworldexists

After talking to several hikers who reportedly saw my friend and her husband not only a mile in - I thought for sure I would have to hike back with the couple I had befriended and forgo my plans of backpacking. Sure enough, right as we were packing up our bags and getting ready to head back, my friend and her husband show up - her husband carrying BOTH packs. Talk about perseverance. 

Delighted at the sight of them, I bid farewell to the friendly older couple and we started looking for a campsite. Scouring the trail for sights, I ran into a dad and his son talking to a solo backpacker. The friendly backpacker claimed he had more than enough space for all of us at his site and insisted we stay there for the night. I quickly accepted, yelled to my friends that I found a spot, and began unpacking. 

kelly dona backpacking eight mile lake this world exists thisworldexists

The dad and his son, who were with another couple and their two kids, eventually came back to join us. What started out as a group of strangers had ended with a new bunch of friends. With the wind gusting up to 40mph, we all huddled behind the makeshift wind wall that the solo backpacker had set up, telling stories, eating freeze dried meals, and laughing the night away. 

Originally, all signs pointed towards staying home but making the decision to get out there and go adventure ended up being the smartest decision of all. Who knows what your next adventure will bring?

Written by Kelly Dona

See more of Kelly's adventures on Instagram: @kellll_bell89