I spent the week preparing to take Sydney on her first overnight backpacking trip. My greatest fear was that she would be cold. After several trips to REI, I felt confidant that we had the right gear for this excursion. We went with Bob and Anna from our ward. It was nice to be able to share gear since Bob and I were carrying all the equipment for our daughters. I was so proud of Sydney. She was such a good sport and never complained the entire trip. The first day we hiked about 5 miles to our destination. We separated to scout the area and find the best place to pitch our tents. Sydney and I attempted to cross a stream but ended up falling into knee deep water. Sydney panicked since the water was moving pretty fast. I pulled her out and took her back to safe ground. Once we dumped all the water out of our boots, Sydney asked if we could say a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for protecting us from drowning. She offered the most sincere, heart felt prayer giving thanks. Slowly we have begun to shift where I learn more from her than she does from me. Thankfully she was wearing special non cotton hiking socks so she was able to continue hiking without much trouble.
After this incident, we fished for awhile. I set Sydney up with a spinner and taught her how to cast. Two minutes later I was putting together my fly rod when I heard Sydney screaming and crying. On one of her attempts to cast she lost balance and fell on a sharp rock and cut her finger badly. Bob, who is a doctor, diagnosed it as a "superficial cut." Once I told Sydney that Bob is a doctor and that she would be OK, she stopped crying and said, "Thanks Dr. Wenzel." After some antibiotic cream and a bandaid, she was good as new. She decided to just watch me fly fish for awhile. It didn't take long before I caught a couple of Dolly Varden Trout. Then Sydney used the fly rod on a rock ledge by just dropping the fly in the water and waiting for a bite. A few minutes later she felt a tug and pulled up her first fish ever. She was screaming and shouting with excitement. So was I. Later we cooked these fish over an open fire in a beautiful valley with the sun just starting to set. I taught Sydney about the miracle Christ performed when he fed thousands of people with just a few fish. I told her that I imagined that experience took place in a location that was just as beautiful as our valley and at about the same time of day. It was the perfect setting to discuss this great miracle.
Sydney and Anna did so good on the hike. They held hands, talked and sang most of the way.The trout didn't provide much meat so we cooked on a few hot dogs on top of this large flat rock.
Sydney was so excited to catch her first fish. Here it is.
Bob, Anna, Sydney and me at the trailhead as we began our hike.
On Labor Day we went to Eklutna Lake and went fishing and four wheeling. I was glad to take both Sydney and Jordyn on this fun excursion. Our friend from the ward, Mike Henrie, invited us to go out on his boat. The girls had a great time. Mike caught a fish and let Sydney reel it in. As soon as Sydney came back with this fish, Jordyn claimed it as her own. The funny thing is that she didn't realize it was dead. She over heard me say that we were going to cook it and eat it for dinner as soon as we get home. The thought that Daddy would kill her pet and eat it was the cruelest thing she could think of. Once we got home Jordyn saw me gutting the fish in the backyard and starting yelling at me to stop. I explained to her that fish are a gift from God to feed us and give us strength. After I grilled it, everybody was eating bites except for Jordyn. Once she realized that even Levi liked it, she tried a bite.