In our quest to reach 100 miles this year, there are moments that mark our progress better than any mileage number ever could. We recently had a series of experiences on our record breaking hike of 8.6 miles, a family record for our longest hike and a personal longest hike for both myself and our son.
The first mile or two of our hikes are usually typified by settling into a rhythm. We work on setting the pace, distracting the boy from complaining and setting expectations for our first rest break. As we made our way into mile 2 on this particular hike, out of seemingly nowhere my son stated “Tell me about the army, dad.” After explaining the difference between the Army and the Air Force, I had the opportunity to spy on the father/son bonding initiated by my son. Its safe to say that this conversation would not have taken place had we not gotten out on the trail that day. While we spend time together as a family at home, he generally focuses on asking to watch movies.
Being on the trail with no other distractions created the atmosphere for other conversations as well. With the upcoming arrival of our next child, he started to ask more questions about his first mother (who passed away 5 years ago) and what my husband’s reaction was when he was born.
Another interesting occurrence on this particular day was our directional challenges. Yes, we got lost once again. This time we weren’t in the car, but on foot, which makes it a much bigger deal. We discovered after a mile or two of hiking towards the end of our day that we had taken the wrong fork in the trail. We turned around and dragged on for another 2 miles until we realized that neither I nor the boy could go on. Pregnancy and a desk job during the week were causing me some hip pain after 7 miles, and we were dragging a good 15 to 20 feet behind Jayson. So when we hit 8.6 miles and we realized we were still roughly 3 miles from our truck, Jayson decided to press on alone to get to the truck and pick us up before dark. There was an access road near by, so we were able to wait and make some hot chocolate with the Jet Boil to refresh us and keep us warm.
Other things worth noting:
We started out the day at 35 degrees.
We inspired a trail runner to get his 7 year old out hiking.
The fall colors were beautiful.
We hit 50 miles for the year during this hike!
So until next time, adventure on (and try not to get too lost)!