Small hikes with our kids are great. Anything under 3 miles is usually a doable morning activity. Sometimes, we’ll let them both walk and just spend the whole morning doing only a 3 mile trail.
This is wonderful. Wonderful in that we’re teaching them to love hiking. Wonderful in that they’re getting exercise and enjoying the outdoors. And wonderful in that we get some sweet family time together.
But sometimes, parks won’t have a 2-3 mile hike. They’ll have a few .5 mile hikes which are really just views. Then they’ll have a bunch of 5-10 mile hikes listed.
This poses a problem. I want to do those hikes! The long ones where you get to see the really good stuff!
We can’t spend the whole day moving at a snail’s pace. We’d never finish in time.
I’m in no way patient enough to hike more than a couple of miles with the kids walking. It drives me bonkers.
Patience isn’t my strong suit.
So when we decide to do these long hikes, we stick Wilson ing the baby carrier and let Jane walk as far as she can until she can’t keep up. Then she goes in the Ergo on my back.
At this point, we can actually make some pretty good time. The biggest drawback is we’re both still hiking with at least 37lbs strapped to us.
The day of our anniversary, we decided Wilson would be skipping his nap and we were going to go on a hike that WE wanted to go on. We picked an 8 mile hike to Mills Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It passed Alberta Falls. It offered a loop around Bear Lake. It had a beautiful mountain stream and Aspen trees turning in fall. It ended at a pristine mountain lake.
Jane made it 2 miles in and I put her in the pack. Jane’s a talker. She isn’t quiet unless she’s asleep. So, instead of falling into a pace and enjoying the scenery, I got to listen to the whole play by play of Aladdin.
Don’t start with the whole “she’s little, enjoy those moments”. I have plenty of “those moments’’ which I do enjoy. Sometimes I just want her to put a sock in it and let me zone out on a hike.
Especially when I’m carrying her on my back up a mountain and she keeps asking “Are we almost there?”.
My very favorite part of hiking with the kids is when I get to carry Wilson around nap time. This was one of those days!
When we arrived at Mills Lake everyone had lunch, and we let the kids run around and play for a while.
Wilson’s nap time was approaching, so when we left, Mark wore “Chatty Kathy” and I got to trail behind them with Wilson. He quickly fell asleep in the Ergo, and I got to have my zen moment on the hike.
A sweet two year old snuggled to me, sleeping.
Fall trees blowing all around me.
It was heavenly.
We all agreed it was one of our favorite hikes of the trip.