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G.O.A.T.

For a month, Tom has been planning a backpacking trip with Finn. And when I say “planning,” I’m talking about planning as it can only be done by a boy scout raised in the Midwest. As Tom astutely noted, he loves backpacking because it combines his two great loves: the outdoors, and organization. He chose the June date, when it was likely to be warm, but not too warm. He chose the location for its lack of elevation gain and proximity to water (for throwing stones). He outfitted Finn with a mini backpack, and half-filled it with the lightest items while loading up his own humongous pack. It was all planned perfectly. Here they are, leaving yesterday morning. Hope beams from their eyes.

Five hours later, I got a patchy call at work. It was Tom, calling from an undisclosed location on the Deschutes.

Tom: “(CRACKLING FROM BAD RECEPTION) Yoona? We might (CRACKLE) be coming home soon (CRACKLE).”

Finn, in background, moaning: “Mommy it’s so windyyyyyyyyyy…”

Tom: “You there? We hiked four miles in and the tent’s up. But he’s not (CRACKLE) doing so well. We saw S-N-A-K-E-S and he flipped out. Plus…it’s really windy.”

And then, silence, as we lost the connection. I spent the next four hours in aggravated suspense, until I got a text that they were eating pizza at Double Mountain in Hood River. In the end, Tom said it was the freeze-dried yakisoba noodles that did Finn in. And the rattlesnake, heard before it was seen. Twelve hours from start to finish, a defunct backpacking trip. Tom said it was one of the best days of his life.

A good dad goes to all that trouble. A great dad knows when to call it a day for his kid’s sake, and for the sake of happier backpacking trips to come. Tom might not be the greatest dad of all time. But today, I have to believe he’s in the running.

Happy Father’s Day!

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41 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love this. Great dad and what l love most is that Finn likely took in all his dad did for him and their time together. I bet he looks back on the trip one day as “that time my dad took me camping.” Really sweet. And being a Midwest outdoorsy gal and suffering from organizational neurosis myself, I can appreciate the time, effort and love that went into the planning. Go Tom and Finn.

    June 22, 2012
    • i am very hopeful that finn will look back on the experience with fondness. go tom and finn indeed!

      June 26, 2012
  2. That’s so sweet! I bet Finn will look forward to backpacking trips with his dad from now on. 😀

    June 18, 2012
  3. stephanie #

    completely wonderful!!!! in all ways!

    June 15, 2012
  4. Grayson Dempsey #

    Really sweet. Tom is a great dad, hope you all have a great weekend. xo

    June 15, 2012
    • hullo luv. had a great wknd. hope your fam did as well!

      June 18, 2012
  5. Kristin #

    Great post. My absolute favorite thing is that even though it did not go the way he planned, it was one of the best days in Toms life. I got a little chocked up! Incredibly sweet.

    June 15, 2012
  6. Christie #

    I love how by the last photo, Finn had shed his backpack. He had clearly called in quits. Great post.

    June 15, 2012
    • tom said the hike back was like the bataan death march

      June 15, 2012
  7. Well done to father and son for their 12 hour backpacking trip! That’s a feat in itself.
    I’m with Finn on the rattlesnakes; ick. And now, I just have to try some freeze dried yakisoba…

    June 15, 2012
    • no you don’t. no one has to try that to be assured that it’s nasty!

      June 15, 2012
  8. Shoe #

    I trust no trout were harmed in the process?

    June 15, 2012
  9. I don’t just like this, I love it.

    June 15, 2012
  10. Rob Milesnick #

    Outstanding!

    June 15, 2012
  11. Just think of the amazing memories that were created in that 12-hour stretch. Tom is awesome.

    June 15, 2012
    • you’re right josh. we’ll do anything for a solid memory around these parts

      June 15, 2012
  12. Tim #

    Awesome.

    June 15, 2012
  13. Min #

    Love this, Yoona! What a cutie pie, and trooper! It’s asking a lot to eat freeze dried yakisoba noodles in the middle of a windstorm.

    June 15, 2012
    • Jennifer #

      Especially when he is used to yummy Bokebowl ramen! What was Tom thinking?!?

      June 15, 2012
      • Going to boke in 20 minutes to banish the last memories of the yakisoba

        June 15, 2012
      • Jennifer #

        You get the BEST MOM award for that!

        June 15, 2012
    • thanks min–i wholeheartedly agree

      June 15, 2012
  14. What a beautiful post. Tom is one terrific father!! Finn will remember this trip and remember his father’s sensitivity to his feelings about the snake. Happy Father’s day Tom – job well done!!

    June 15, 2012
    • two snakes, pat! and salamanders. i would have had a full-on nervous breakdown on the trail

      June 15, 2012
  15. Jennifer #

    And he took pictures!!! Great Dad Award to Tom!!!

    June 15, 2012
    • a condition of being allowed to go in the first place. i love the idea of tom creating father-son memories, but i gotta have SOMETHING

      June 15, 2012
  16. wish my father had known when to pack it in.

    June 15, 2012
    • there are lessons to be taught in sticking it out, right? damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

      June 15, 2012
  17. I’m with Finn. One sound or sight of a snake and I’m vamoose! What a great dad Tom is to take him, and even better, know when to call it quits. But it isn’t quits. It’s the worlds best and shortest backpacking trips.

    June 15, 2012
    • i asked tom how he knows a snake can’t get into the tent. his answer was, “it’s never happened to me before.” which is a highly unsatisfactory answer, from a mom’s perspective

      June 15, 2012
  18. Kim #

    This is totally awesome. Finn is the cutest thing I have ever seen. (Tom is cute too.) Where did you get Finn’s shorts?

    June 15, 2012
    • hey kim! hanna andersson for those indestructible shorts. I love how they drooped progressively lower throughout the day.

      June 15, 2012
      • That was the metric we used (years and years ago!) for our kids. It was the opposite of a pop-up timer. Once the shorts were “down” it was time to call it quits for the day.

        June 16, 2012
      • Finn’s pants often start the day in that position. Girlish hips and all

        June 18, 2012

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