Backpacking Malan's Peak

When my parents offered to take our kids overnight, we momentarily considered a plush hotel room/spa day, but we quickly decided a little backpacking trip would be better. We hiked the 5 mile (round trip) trail up to Malan's Peak. That is a killer hike, especially with all your gear on your back. The views at the top are worth it though, even if we were almost blown off the cliff. Beyond Malan's Peak you can hike down to Malan Basin. There are several neat little fire pits and camping spots. We were the only people on the mountain so we had the entire basin to ourselves. We slept under the stars and next to the river. It was perfect.

Sometime in the night i opened my eyes, peaked through the hole in my tightly cinched mummy bag, and directly above us was a clear view of the big dipper. I was immediately transported back to being a kid, laying on the tramp or camping under the stars, and listening as my Dad pointed out the constellations.

There were too many for me to remember or find by myself when I was away from home, but I could always find the big and little dipper from a young age. No matter where I was, I felt peace when I spotted them in the sky. And that's what I felt last night. I may not have my own house right now, but laying outside under the stars, I was home.