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Hiking Expedition

On August 9, 2019, three generations of my family left Glastonbury, CT, on a two-week hiking expedition to complete three of the highest peaks in the USA.

Our plan for the hiking expedition was to hike four of the highest peaks. My father, Bob Packard (age 77), is trying to complete all 50 of the highest peaks in each of the United States. For this trip we planned to hike the following mountains:
  1. Wheeler Peak – New Mexico
  2. Kings Peak – Utah
  3. Borah Peak – Idaho
  4. Granite Peak – Montana

Bailey Packard (18), Noah Packard (20), Rob Packard (47), and Bob Packard (77) started on Friday, August 9, from Glastonbury, CT.

Start 300x225 Hiking Expedition

Glastonbury, CT

Then we drove West for a long time. On Saturday, August 10, we stopped at the Waffle House.

Waffle House 300x169 Hiking Expedition

Waffle House

Then we got back in the car.

3 Driving 300x169 Hiking Expedition

Finally, on Sunday, August 11, we arrived at the base of Wheeler Peak. We decided to hike it that day despite not acclimating to the altitude and not sleeping in two days.

4 Bailey Base of Wheeler e1566919907502 225x300 Hiking Expedition

Bailey Packard

5 Noah Base of Wheeler e1566919966989 225x300 Hiking Expedition

Noah Packard

Wheeler Peak 1 300x225 Hiking Expedition

Wheeler Peak

Wheeler Peak 2 300x225 Hiking Expedition

Wheeler Peak 3 1 e1566920143315 225x300 Hiking Expedition

Wheeler Peak 4 e1566920187157 225x300 Hiking Expedition

Wheeler Peak 5 e1566920220978 225x300 Hiking Expedition

Wheeler Peak 6 300x225 Hiking Expedition

Then we headed back across the ridge and down to the car. The evening we drove to Colorado and slept. The following morning, Monday, August 12, we drove through Colorado.

Driving through Colorado 300x169 Hiking Expedition

That evening we arrived at Henry’s Fork Trail Head in Utah several hours after dark. We pitched tents in the parking area and slept for the night. In the morning, Tuesday, August 13, we woke to ice on our tents. Then we began the long hike into the valley (see Bailey’s video above).

Entering Valley Near Kings Peak 300x169 Hiking Expedition

We were all carrying too much gear, and we needed some rest.

Taking a Break on Kings Peak Day 1 300x169 Hiking Expedition

While we enjoyed the view of the valley.

Taking a Break on Kings Peak Day 1 from a different view 300x169 Hiking Expedition

Later we saw a couple of moose (Bailey got close enough for a selfie).

Bailey says hello to the Moose 300x169 Hiking Expedition

We slept the night just below Gun Sight Pass and then headed up Kings Peak in the morning of Wednesday, August 14.

Kings Peak Group Photo 300x169 Hiking Expedition

Another spectacular view.

Kings Peak View 300x169 Hiking Expedition

Then we headed back across the ridge (very challenging and exposed).

Kings Peak Ridge 300x169 Hiking Expedition

That afternoon Bailey got lost, but we found him back at the tents several hours later just before dark. Noah was exhausted and took a nap in the middle of the Gun Sight Pass. We all slept well and hiked back to the car in the morning of Thursday, August 15.

Dad Taking a Break e1566921771896 169x300 Hiking Expedition

Then we drove to Idaho Falls, and we had all you can eat steak at Stockman’s.

We took at rest day on Friday, August 16. On Saturday, it was perfect weather, and we drove to Borah Peak in Idaho–just two hours Northwest from Idaho Falls. We arrived just after 6 am and began hiking as the sun rose.

Borah Peak 300x225 Hiking Expedition

Now I understand why Wheeler was rated a 1+ in difficulty. Kings Peak was rated a 2+ in difficulty, and Borah is 3+ in difficulty. There is a 2,000+ foot cliff on both sides of a goat path across a knife-edge. There is sharp, jagged shale everywhere and no trees. Winds are fierce, and it’s not a windy day. Temperatures were in the low 40s. I decided to “chicken out” just before we got to “Chicken Out Ridge.”

Where Rob Waited 300x225 Hiking Expedition

This is where Rob waited for the others.

The ice bridge was not expected, and dozens of weekend hikers with no experience were trying to crawl across the ice. Bailey used his knife for extra grip on the ice. Bob was almost knocked off the mountain by a falling boulder, and they made it to the peak waiting for Bailey’s pictures to be added later.

Then we all headed down the mountain.

Dad and Bailey on Borah e1566921715900 225x300 Hiking Expedition

Noah on Borah e1566921886585 225x300 Hiking Expedition

Rob on Borah e1566921940799 225x300 Hiking Expedition

The following day, Sunday, August 18, we drove home our feet were too sore to attempt Granite Peak. But along the way, we stopped on Monday, August 19 at Portillo’s for

Thank you for your support, and thank you to Noah and Bailey for joining my dad and me on this hiking expedition. These are memories we’ll never forget.

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