Right before we reached the cross at the end of this hike (or about the 100th time we felt like we should have reached the cross already – those ever distant hills!) my 5 year old and I decided we are done hiking for the summer.
In a good way.
Do I feel bad about giving up my one hike a week goal? No, not really. I am kind of tired. Hiking is hard!! If those baby hiking backpacks aren’t adjusted just right they hurt really bad. My kids are tired. We need more nothing going on in our lives. You know. Just summer days full of nothing where we are so bored that we desperately want to get back into parsing, diagramming, and calculating circumferences and stuff like that. I’m just not sure we’re there yet.
And I’m just kind of tired.
But truly, the real reason I don’t feel bad has to to with the reason I wanted to do all these hikes in the first place.
So what was the point of all these hikes? I wanted the kids to be active in this summer. I wanted them to get out of the house away from legs, and yes, even books. And not just outside in the backyard, but OUTSIDE of the city and OUTSIDE of the valley and see that there is more out there than just what their eyes can see from their bedroom window. Even though I can’t take them traveling all around to foreign and exotic places, I can take them to things that are beautiful and majestic and natural.
Also, I wanted them to get OUTSIDE of their comfort zone. Have I mentioned hiking is hard? Those poor little legs! Hiking is especially hard for little kids if I am their mother. Those last few hikes were kind of brutal. But they did it! And they really did enjoy it. There is something truly spiritual about being enveloped in nature and I wanted the kids to have that experience. Sometimes, even before we had finished the hike, one of the children would say, “I want to do that hike again!” or “That was my favorite hike!” That is a beautiful thing to hear – especially since the previous few hours I had mostly heard comments about bones breaking and legs not working anymore. And whining. And sometimes screaming. And definitely crying at times.
I feel like I accomplished my goal. I think we have worked hard and deserve a month rest from pushing our limits and testing our grit (physically speaking.) We’ve got a nature filled vacation coming up in September and I need all those little legs rested and itching to get back outside by then. It won’t be 100 degree outside so that is definitely going to help a lot. (Note to self: stop hiking in 100 degree weather!!! oh wait, that’s what I’m already doing.)
So farewell trails. Unless you are paved and near cold water and a parking lot, I will not be seeing you again for some time.
(Except for Monday when my husband and I attempt to summit a peak that will probably kick us in the rear and send us crawling back to bed.)
Until that unknown time in the hopefully not too distant future (besides Monday) when we gather up the snacks, water bottles, and dirty hiking shoes, enjoy some photos from our last hike. We started at 8:30 in the morning. This hike took us 3 hours, but I’m pretty sure the last time I took just a few cub scouts up there we got done in something like 45 minutes. Bonus Point: my son brought his binoculars and Birds of Prey Identification book with high hopes of catching another red tailed hawk in flight, but instead we got great views (not great photos) of a huge osprey and heard her calling. I love when things work out like that.
And we saw a weird bug.
(P.S. also my friend and 5 of her 6 kids came with us, so it was like a party on the mountain! Yeah!)