So my son's Boy Scout troop went on a backpacking trip to Roan Mountain this weekend and they really needed more adults for the number of kids... so I went along. What a wakeup call. We did a total of 14 miles, starting with a 1.5 mile hike at 11:00 pm to our first shelter. Then 7 miles (approximately) to the next shelter for the second night and then 5.3 miles today. I have good boots but a new pack which I have got to learn how to pack correctly. Even at 35 lbs I'm done in. I know we all say to pack it up, trek with it and make sure you can carry the weight as long as you need to. I can't so I obviously need to rethink some things. Yes I finished and showed as little weakness at the time to my son who was having a hard time (pack too heavy and possibly too big, couple of blisters and started to get dehydrated) and as an adult I fully understand that there's no other way of that mountain. You finish, simple as that. They can't come pick you up if you are too tired to go on. Afterwards, however, we talked about it and I was honest with him and we discussed what was good and bad about the trip. He did ultimately enjoy it but it wasn't a stroll in the park. It was, I'm ashamed to say, grueling for us and like I said a real wakeup call. I won't be taking fresh water available at the turn off a knob for granted for quite a while. I absolutely LOVE my bed. Carrying my house and everything I need on my back would be nothing like many have romanticized it to be. Will I do it again? I don't know for sure but probably. Will I do some things differently? Absolutely! Was it ultimately a good expedience? Yes, for both my son and I. The views were amazing and I absolutely love the night sky without all the light pollution. Please forgive any rambling or misspellings as I'm posting from my phone as I fall asleep. I just wanted to get this out there.