This edition of Tales from the Trail comes from a very special mama in my life. I met September and her adorable boys on my very first Hike it Baby hike after I had Jack. Since then, September and I have logged many, many slow-paced miles with our kids, together with our local Hike it Baby branch and on our own. We’ve shared lots of laughs, diffused many toddler meltdowns, and traded an infinite number of snacks to keep our kids happy and moving forward. I’m grateful to have a friend like September and I’m looking forward to logging many more miles together in the future.
My husband and I are raising three little loves and our days for the most part are a beautiful mess. There is always a fight to referee, a missing shoe, a boo boo to kiss or a butt to wipe and on top of it all we’re expected to do all this boring grown up stuff, too. It’s stressful and glorious and all the feelings in between. I find myself rushing through the days while wishing time would slow down so I could really relish in all these fleeting moments. So, our outdoor adventures are mini promises to my children. I promise to leave the mess and the chaos for as much as it’s needed and for as long as we can. I promise to put away my phone and hold your hand, help you climb over rocks and be wowed by every bug, flower or critter that crosses our path. I promise to be fully present while we explore the big outdoors together.
This face pretty much sums up the overall attitude of our recent visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, our trip seemed rockier than the mountain itself. It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did. We dragged our trailer’s power cable 140 something miles so it was shredded to bits. A fuse blew in our camper so we couldn’t even run on battery power and then our three year old son had a pretty bad spill which resulted in using up every last band aid I had packed for our trip. It was dinnertime and there was no food and no power. Everyone was pushed to their limit. There was a lot of yelling, fighting, whining, and crying and I’m pretty sure our camp neighbors thought we were just the worst parents ever. We almost packed up everything and left before we even spent the night. But we slapped on some smiles, made sandwiches, and stuck it out and I’m so very glad we did because that face turned into this face.
As soon as we stepped foot on our first trail everyone’s mood suddenly changed. As if the trip hadn’t been a complete disaster after all. The kids were giggling, climbing trees, skipping stones, and jumping off rocks. We spotted a herd of mama elk with their young grazing in the meadow. We had a perfect view of the setting sun dipping behind the mountain crest. It was pure magic. I’m pretty sure I heard Julie Andrews singing in the background. And to think we almost missed the chance to see it. We take our family on these little adventures because no matter the struggle we are all so happy out there. And because I would never want to break my promise.