Ants Go Marching

Backpacking with a baby is basically like car camping, but you're not worried who she'll wake up when she screams all night.

We went into the Bighorns last night and backpacked into a lake called Firehole No. 1. No. 2 is up a boulder field and is rumored to hold golden trout. We saw a handful of people on the way in, but most of them were deterred by the final mile of bushwhacking to the Firehole brothers. 
Miriam giggled and talked on the pack in, then patiently watch while we fished. She dined with more enthusiasm on easy Mac and tuna than I did. The meal had been banned from our backpacking menu since an ill-fated trip in Ecuador eight years ago, we learned you really shouldn't use the water you boil noodles with to make the sauce, or you end up with noodle tuna cement.

We have not yet mastered an infant in the tent. But last night we got our closest. When she woke up crying every hour or two, she could be soothed back to sleep with singing and a hand on her back. The sleep deprived brain goes funny places in the middle of the night. All Josh and I could think of was the Ants Go Marching. Anyone know what the little one stops to do from 11 through 20? We don't. And it's really hard to think of it in the middle of the night. Over and over. So the little one sucked her thumb, and closed the gate, and texted, and flirted, and climbed a tree, and had to pee. Some days I wish Miriam knew more words, some days I'm just fine that she doesn't.

But morning came as it always does, and the sunrise was beautiful. Out of the tent, everyone was happy to fish again. 

If you've thought about backpacking with a little one but aren't sure, it's really no different than car camping. And maybe nicer, because no one heard our six nighttime renditions of the Ants Go Marching.

-Christine Peterson