Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Hike With the Family to the Top of the Mountain

Last weekend my family went on a hike.  We originally had bigger plans than just a hike.  We planned to sleep overnight on the top of our mountain with no sleeping bags, build our own shelter, family vs. wild type of thing.  But with the dry season and hot weather we are not allowed to have a fire and that ended that adventure.  Truthfully, I was not too disappointed.  I had to talk the boys into bringing food during the planning phases.  And before you think we're too weird...with my two oldest dressed the way they are...they are going on a Pioneer trek next month and wanted to try out their clothing to see how they worked. 

We started out at 6:30 in the morning.  It was going to be in the high 90's that day and we knew we needed to get an early start.  It felt hot at 6:30 already.  Luckily, there was a nice little breeze that kept cooling us off.  Each of my kids packed their own water and the 2 oldest packed their own trail mix and granola bar as well.

Abby, Justin, Logan, Caroline and Janzen

We live along the steepest mountain range in the world.  It is not easy hiking up to the top.

I think Logan's favorite place was this big field right before you head up a canyon where there were tons of grasshoppers.  We have hiked up there with our kids several times before as training and they always did great.

 He really didn't eat it although my husband pointed out that he could have if we were really in a survival situation.

 The kid has great style though.  Argyle socks with plaid shorts.  And his new barefoot Merrell's.  Now my 2 sons and I both have the barefoot Merrell shoes.  The girls have the Vivo Barefoot shoes and really like them.  I got the girl's shoes at a website called Zulily that has random sales and I just happened to spot them.  I paid full price for my son's Merrell's.  And I feel like it's worth it.  I have a shoe post planned soon.

My husband and son got us some cattail roots to eat along the way.  There are several springs along the mountain side that provide emergency water if necessary.

And my husband showed them what stinging nettle looks like as well as a good cure for it called Lamb's ear.

We made hiking sticks along the way and I was most surprised by the lack of complaining.  I had geared myself up for a lot of it.  It was interesting to see them go through periods of being tired and then after a drink and some trail mix practically run up the mountain.

There's one last really big hill before the top and the adrenaline must have kicked in because those kids ran up to the top.  The hubs and I hiked it.  They were so proud of themselves for making it to the top.  It's a little over 3 miles and a 3000 ft. elevation gain.  My youngest one said to me that he didn't think he could do it, but he did.  Isn't that the lesson we want our kids to learn?  We can do hard things.  We had life lessons along the way that I tried to point out like staying on the trail, perspective, rewards for hard work and the sacred nature of the mountain.  I love when parenting can be spur of the moment and you know it's sinking in.
My favorite comment from Logan along the trail was this little conversation:
Logan:  I wish that someone would carry me.
Mom:  Sorry, bud.  No one's going to carry you today.  Besides, you're so strong and look how far you've already come.  You can do it.  And we can take a break whenever you need it.
About 2 hours later...
Logan:  I wish...I wish that I had new legs.
I could tell that he really wanted to say again that he wanted someone to carry him.  But I was SO proud of that little 6 year old for doing what he did without complaint.  About 500 ft. from our house he said that his legs were really hurting.  I never heard another word about it though.  Not the rest of the day or the next day when everyone else was pretty sore.  Ah, to be a kid again!

After reaching the top we went down in the trees to get out of the wind.  It was REALLY windy at the top and was hard to even hear the person next to you talking.  But we were all really grateful for that wind because it was starting to get really hot!

We took a break and ate our granola bars and sat down.  I really was so proud of my little family.  We hiked around for a little bit and while traveling through the brush I made my husband and Justin go first to scare out any nasty critters.  We saw evidence of mountain lions and elk up there.  

Good thing I did because this huge 4 foot snake appeared and then slithered off into the sage brush.  Yuck.  My husband then pointed out that in a survival situation we would have killed that snake and ate it.  Double Yuck.

Coming down is just as hard as going up because of the steepness and all the loose rocks.  It was still work.  We traveled about 8 miles in all.  And we were all pretty tired when we got home.  I was especially glad we didn't try to spend the night after the snake experience.
Everyone showered and I started laundry and each of us took a nap of some sort.  It was a great day and one of those times you know each of them will remember hopefully forever.


misszippy said...

What a fantastic family activity! Love that your little guy pushed through to the end. Don't love the snake. ; )

And I think it's great that your kids tried their clothes on the hike, too!

susette said...

Your kids will be so ready for Trek! They will be the ones helping the others along who are having struggles.

That is some crazy elevation change!!

I would have FREAKED OUT seeing that snake!

Love your shirt (wink, wink)
Are you running it this year??

Julia said...

ummmm i am proud of your family too! i cant imagine the terrible things i would have said to my parents had they made me do something like that as a child;) such great photos! sounds like your kids learned many valuable life lessons along the way too!

phat josh said...

I'm with Julia on this one. I would have hated my parents for taking me on an early morning hike. Now a days I'm a bit jealous.

Rachelle Wardle said...

I absolutely love this Jen! What a cute little family you have and that is so incredibly awesome that you were able to teach, learn, and just be together. So incredibly important.

Your 6 year old is an absolute rockstar. I am pretty sure I would have complained the entire time!

Johann said...

What a great hike with your family! I love the photo at the top! i also love the snake...yep, I love them... It is great that your kids do this with you.

Stefanie D. said...

Ew that snake is yucky! That looks like a tough hike! So awesome you were able to do it with your fam.

Life After Swimming said...

Wow what an amazing view!!! Looks like a great family experience :)

ashley & sundance said...

1. your kids are adorable.

2. they are also pretty bad-a for conquering that hike! 3k elevation in 3miles?! WOO!!!

3. that snake... I would DIE.

4. we need a Yogurtland date. :)

Laura Boll said...

I love the outfits!! What a great adventure for the whole family. I'm super impressed with your 6yo, too. That "Wish I had new legs" comment is adorable. :) But wow, my heart started beating fast just from the pic of that snake!