Let’s start out with a little article, shall we? What hiking does to the brain is pretty amazing.
The night before this hike we attended the Pow Wow and stayed up extra late. The next morning I packed by myself all our camping stuff and overnight clothes and the kids into the mini van. (Ok, that doesn’t sound like much but let me tell you, exhausting and overwhelming.) Then we even made it to our last session of swim lessons on time (thank goodness – not the on time part, the part about it being the LAST!) And after that – and a stop for gas and a stop for Wendy’s (don’t judge me. ok, go ahead) we finally took the hour long drive to pick up Grammy, then another 45 minutes or so to get to our hike.
Let me tell you, I was NOT a happy camper. And I hadn’t even set up the tent yet! Did I mention I was getting sick again? Like horrible sore throat, congestion, generally yucky feeling sick? Yes, well, I was getting sick again. I would describe myself at that point as a very tired, irritated, short fused, muddle headed and sore throated time bomb waiting to go off.
But of course I couldn’t because my mother-in-law was with us.
Enter Silver Lake. It’s more like a pond. It took me about 5 minutes of hiking before I started to soften. Maybe 5 more minutes before my walls started crumbling. And by the time we hit the big climbing rock, life was all good again. (Well, I still had the sore throat.)
Strangely, or not so strangely, I could sense this in my kids as well. After 10 minutes there was no more whining or complaining. Just running around, looking for wildlife, and getting into the dirt of it all. Even the baby didn’t really cry! (I tried really hard to get a photo of him crying so as to match every other hike we’ve done this summer, but it just wasn’t to be. The best I got was an annoyed little whimper. After I took him out of the backpack and let him waddle around -and fed him some fruit snacks- he was all smiles.)
Despite the crowds and mosquitoes and fact that most of the trail is a boardwalk which kind of takes away the out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere kind of feel of things, it was beautiful. And it even smelled nice. Like trees.
So, let me just restate what I said before, What hiking does to the brain is pretty amazing.
And then we went and set up the tent in my in-laws back yard and ate….
Ice cream, duh.