Saturday, August 26, 2017

Summer hikes

One of the goals the kids had for the summer was to go on what Eloise called "an all day hike."  In preparation for that, we met the Carvers at St. Edward State Park on June 15 to walk the North Rim Trail.  Hiking takes longer with children.  It rained harder than the weather report said it would for this hike.  I think Dorothy carried a bag with a partially finished crochet project on this whole hike.  Kids are crazy.
Officially this trail is less than two miles.  It felt like about 58597843987528394723847 miles, but we  made it.

Sammy was wearing underwear and peed in his pants on the way back, as toddlers do when they are getting tired. It just so happened that his pants were pressed against my back, since I was carrying him at the time.  I wish I could say this was the first time that this has happened to me.  We were almost to the car, so we powered through.  When we were 100 yards from the car, Jared said that he couldn't go one single step more and demanded that I carry him.  I laughed in his seven year old face and plowed ahead to the car (which was just on the other side of a field from where we were).  I did take this selfie before I left him to his exhausted depression so close, and yet. . . still so close to the car.
On June 28 we did a real test of endurance by spending the morning at the Pacific Science Center with the Christensens before heading to Discovery Park for an urban wilderness adventure.
These boys cracked me up.  They REALLY wanted a butterfly to land on them.  Max kept sidling up the butterflies and nudging his hands closer and closer to them, hoping that they would just walk onto his hands instead of flying away.
I told them to be very still and wait for butterflies, but it is hard for little boys to be still.
The science center, always awesome, was better with friends.
When we finally dragged ourselves away from there, we went to Discovery Park, which was lovely.  I wouldn't say we walked very far, but we had a nice time.
We called this "Stump Mountain."  Everyone wanted to be king of the mountain, since there was a huckleberry bush growing out of the top of it.
This train was much flatter and wider than the St. Edward trail, so we made it about two miles altogether, and it didn't feel like so much of a trek.
We didn't get back to the car to head home until just after 5, which was a big mistake, since we were on the West side of Seattle.  Needless to say we got home late.  Here is our end of hike portrait.
With a couple of shorter hikes under our belts, we decided to go all in.  On July 5, we went on our all day hike.  We went to Cougar Mountain Wilderness and hiked the Wild Side Trail.  This was a new trail for all of us, and proved to be quite a challenge.  We went 4.2 miles in a loop.  There were some huge hills.  We took it slowly, with lots of breaks.
None of our breaks could be too long, though, since the mosquitoes found us if we sat still.
Poor B.  This was a long, hard trail for a four year old.  I feel less bad for Eloise, since it was her idea, and for Jared, since he is bigger and stronger.  Sammy had a pretty plumb deal, since he got to ride in my backpack for the hardest portions.  I was pretty impressed with how the small amount of whining stopped when the trail actually got steep, rough, and hard.  These kids are great hikers.
B might have dozed off on the trail once or twice, or at least pretended to to make everyone laugh.  Sammy kept us all busy looking for slugs.
Here we are when our loop trail met back up with the trail we started on.  Sammy had lost his pants in a diaper failure.  Potty training can't happen soon enough for this guy.
This is our end of trail portrait.  It took us all day, but we conquered the wild side!
I ended up giving a talk in church that drew heavily on our hike experience.  I will post it separately.

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