Coming of Age on the Elwha

A Father’s Journey

By John Philbeck

Summer 2009

A trip up the Elwha

A trip up the Elwha

It is required of all fathers to indoctrinate their innocent children into the wonderful world of wilderness packing, fishing and camping. This rite of passage for emerging generations results in ill advised, poorly planned and outrageously idealistic excursions by the male parent.

My trip up the Elwha with our daughter in 2009 was the obvious exception to this certainty!

It was a beautiful July morning when our two heros set forth in the intrepid 1989 Carmy wagon. The trip had been meticulously planned and developed over almost the entire last week. Packs were rented from the local outfitter in Seattle. Meals had been carefully considered and assembled with the stove and utensils. The tent had been found in the back corner of the shed and sleeping bags, gear, clothes and pads had been assembled in perfect order.

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