This may come as a surprise, but I took the kids hiking the other day. After my recent post about loving camping so much, it was kind of odd that I chose such an outdoorsy activity. However, the mountain we were to be hiking is more of a hill, and I’d done it before, so I thought it would be a perfect adventure.
I had posted my intentions to take this hike on Facebook a few days prior, and so several friends all from different social circles told me they might be interested in coming along. Unfortunately, that day was also the day I chose to drop my brand new iphone. I dropped it off for screen repair on the way to the mountain, so it was like the olden days, where I couldn’t actually contact anyone. This alone nearly gave me an anxiety attack, but I pushed through.
Ella is at the age where she COULD still fit in a baby carrier, but I know her well enough to know that she would abhor the idea of being strapped in. I didn’t even bother, and assumed she’d be just fine. You know what they say about assuming things. I ended up carrying Ella most of the way up the mountain, which is only a .2 mile hike so I just figured I was getting an extra arm workout in for the day. She happily munched on a giant marshmallow while being toted up in my arms, and Harrison was a real trooper, climbing right along beside us.
We reached the summit, and had our lunch. Rather, H and E spilled ham and cheese and goldfish crackers all around the great outdoors while I frantically tried to keep nature clean and prevent my children from falling off of a cliff all at the same time. It was truly a magical experience.
On our way down, I noticed that I could go one of two ways. I *thought* I was going the same way we came up but it turns out that we veered in the opposite direction and were headed down the back way. I figured this was no big deal, as I had just seen a woman with a jogging stroller go the same way. It couldn’t be that bad, I thought.
How hard could this be? We are up. We want to go down. Down we shall go. I kept this mantra up for TWO HOURS, you guys. I had my poor children stranded in the woods for TWO hours with no cell phone. Because I’m a stellar parent, I forgot that Ella’s ears, being that she has tubes in them, are very sensitive to altitude changes. It didn’t dawn on me until after we endured forty five minutes of crying that she was in severe pain. Any parent knows that when your kid is that upset you cannot concentrate on anything else. Like getting off a mountain.
We were so lost. I tried to take several different routes, but we kept ending up at the same trail marker. Harrison kept chiming in, “I think we’re lost, Mommy.” Somebody get that kid into college quick. He’s a real thinker. Finally, I found some people. I asked if they were going to the parking lot, and they replied that they were, however they were going the “long way”. I think they could tell by my frazzled state, and Ella’s tears, that we weren’t up for the long way. They kindly gave me their map and told me how to take the shortcut. Unfortunately, I cannot read a map to save my life, especially if I don’t know where I am on that map to begin with. I thought I found this alleged shortcut, or at least, some sort of path on which to walk that I believed was taking us someplace.
Well, that shortcut took us right back up that damn mountain. Luckily there was a wild turkey up there, which distracted Ella from her ear pain. She almost ran off with it, but I caught her just in time to head down the way we came. For real this time. We happened to walk a lot more than .2 miles to get back down, but we finally did. The moral of the story is, do not go hiking with me.