A Pleasant Night in a Pleasant Meadow

Covid-19.   The virus that would go on to cause a worldwide pandemic, a seemingly once in a lifetime event that affects just about everyone in society to one degree or another.  Though it was named after the year 2019, it wouldn't reach pandemic levels until early 2020.  And that's when nearly everyone who had travel plans, including backpacking trips, at least partially derailed.  It wouldn't be until late May, Memorial Day Weekend, until I was able to get out for my first backpacking trip of the year.  This trip would simply be a quick overnighter with Jess and our two oldest daughters, Willow and Ellory.

- Day 1 -
Sunday - May 24, 2020

At the insistence of Jessica's parents, we took our traditional Memorial Day weekend trip down to Torrey, pandemic and all.  We had done well to quarantine as much as possible in the weeks ahead with school for the kids having gone to online only for the last few months and every safety measure that could be taken where I worked.  For that Sunday evening, I was fortunate to be able to take Jess, Willow, and Ellory up for a quick overnight backpacking trip on nearby Boulder Mountain, up into the meadow I had stayed a night in the previous year with Devin and his friend Dane.  That rest of the kids stayed back with my in-laws.

We arrived at the trailhead about mid-afternoon after a lengthy little bumpy ride on a high-clearance road.  From there, the targeted meadow was only a couple easy miles away.  Jess and I were both excited to be giving our all-new ULA Circuit backpacks their inaugural trip and put them to the test.  

Team Altra

Loaded Up

Group Selfie

Willow crosses a creek

Through a teaser meadow

Getting closer to camp

Big aspen grove

Having arrived in the big meadow, we quickly worked to get our camp set up.  I don't know why, but somehow I didn't take any still photos of our camp or through the rest of the evening until the middle of the night when the stars were out in full-force and I emerged from the tent to grab a long exposure in sub-freezing temperatures and a much colder wind chill.  I did however get a good share of video footage that can be viewed in the video at the conclusion of this post.

Milky Way

- Day 2 -
Monday - May 25, 2020

Skies remained clear through the following morning, whereby we woke up to a fully sunny sky and made ourselves some hot chocolate and warm oatmeal.  Once everyone was ready, I led them up to a small waterfall fed by some springs cascading over some algae covered rocks about a mile and a half up stream so.

Sophie (our dog) tramping through the meadow

The cascades

We returned to camp and got packed up to make the quick hike back out to the car.  I had wanted to try and sneak in a day hike up to the "Boulder Top" at the top of the rim for the incredible views up there, but we also wanted to get back down to Torrey to spend some more time with the rest of the family.  Jess and the kids would go on to stay the rest of the week while I, however, had to return home that evening to go into work the next day.  Boulder Top would certainly be there for a hike up to another day.

Heading out of the meadow

The trail widens back up

Nearing the end

Pleasant Creek near the trailhead

While just a quickie, I was really thankful that both my oldest daughters were so eager to join Jess and I for the trip.  Indeed, it was another pleasant trip to enjoy the holiday with family.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful spot for backpacking with my 13 year old daughter. Does the meadow have a name? Did you follow a particular trail? I will looks at maps and do my research but wondering where to start.


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