M. and I spent a long weekend with a group of friends who meet annually at Wellington Lake, southwest of Denver.
Down the shoreline from us, a group of Boy Scouts were yelling loudly during their swimming races -- and even more loudly during the next event, which was gladiatorial combat in canoes or something.
All around the lake, it was a festival of sunburn and canoeing and eating and shouting, just the sort of mass car-camping experience that I used to snobbishly abhor. Me, a Forest Service brat, introduced to backpacking early -- I looked down on the common car-camping crowd.
Now, though, I am just happy to see the kids out running around -- like the four girls maybe 11-13 years old we met descending one of the steeper trails that enters the Lost Creek Wilderness. It's a trail like a rocky staircase, and there they were in shorts and flip-flops. And you know what, it's OK with me, even if they have never heard of the Ten Essentials. At least they were not working on their MySpace pages at that particular moment.