Thursday, September 1, 2011

Warning: Risk of Severe Children Ahead

posted by Melissa
View from campsite D29, White River.
Turned out to be 3 adults and 4 kids on our car camping escapade to Mt. Rainier.  One of the kids chickened out at the last minute.  Something about bears, so I was thinking maybe he read my last blog post.  Actually if I had re-read it, I might have changed my mind about our hike.  Turns out we took the same exact hike where the woman saw the bear on the path!

Not half way along our drive, we stopped for coffee (adults) and bagels (kids).  Lily steps out of the van in her slippers and announced to everyone, with a giggle, that she didn't bring any shoes.  What!  No shoes?  On a hiking and camping trip?  I was already irritated with the constant drone of complaining and bickering from the rear of the vehicle.  Likely because, although I am used to it and can tune it out of my reality, we had Amy with us.  Poor Amy, she had to sit in the back amongst the whiners.  And my guess is, she doesn't have the same skill set I do to tune it all out, and stare blissfully into space.   The no shoes thing really took me over the top.

This is the thing, that is funny to an 11 year old.  Wearing slippers on a hike, into a cafe, around the campsite.  I guess a lot of the things I got irritated about with the kids were fun for them.  They kept saying to me, "We're just having fun.  Why are you so crabby?  You are the one choosing to make it not fun."  And as a Mom, I get stuck between with world of adulthood where you have to get shit done and be prepared for everything; and the other world of the child, where your main objective is to have a good time, and someone else is going to make it all better if you do something dumb like forget your shoes.  As luck would have it, Amy's flip-flops fit Lily.

Vista along the hike to Emmons Glacier.
After we made it to Mt. Rainier, to the White River Campground, we had to choose our campsite.  We scored an amazing site right by the river with views of the mountain.  Levi was complaining loudly that he didn't like that site, "It's not campy enough!  I am not sleeping there!"  Campy?  My geuss is he didn't want to sleep at a site with a view of the volcano.  His trip lately is all about natural disasters.  The entire drive to the mountain he incessantly asked Amy, unfortunately seated next to him, questions about earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and what happens to us when we die.  He has always been somewhat obsessed with these topics, and being in Baltimore when the earthquake occurred in Virginia was quite a tipping point for him.

We chose the site anyway, but since the current tenants weren't packed out yet, we drove up the mountain to Sunrise Lodge.   (6400 ft. elevation)  That drive was intense.  There were parts of it where we were up so high, the edge of the road was a mere 2 feet away (maybe more, but that's how it felt) and the cliff below that edge dropped drastically.  I could barely keep my shit together.  At least they served beer at the top.

When we got back to camp, we set it all up.  I am proud to say I put up my tent all by myself.  Jamie usually does this kind of thing, but he wasn't there.  Amy and I were rockstars when it came to setting up and breaking down camp.  Not to mention cooking and fire starting.  And keeping our sanity.

Hike time!  We set out to hike Emmons Moraine trail, which started at our campground.  It was the most beautiful hike I have ever been on.  The vistas were amazing, and the trail very well maintained.  Take away all the complaining from my three kids, and it was everything I wanted hiking month to be.
I can't do it.

We had to bribe Tallulah with as much candy as she could eat after the hike, just so she would stand up and walk.  "Mama, this is the longest I have ever gone without eating.  My tummy has so many empty spots.  I can't go on."  But in the end, she did it and was extremely proud of herself.  And pleased at the follow through of candy being offered at camp.

After a night of not sleeping, we played along the river and built some cairns to add to the many that had already been built.  The adults all shared a moment of enjoying the fact that the kids were engaged and happy.  Unfortunately, it was lunch time and we had to move on.  Levi just couldn't handle the transition and the scene grew violent as he tried to beat me up because I we had to leave.  I am sure the lady passing us on the trail wondered if she should stop and help.  And perhaps if she hadn't of been there, I might have fought back a little more myself.   He continued yelling at me even after I got him in the van.  Finally a stern comment from his Grammy shut up him up.

By the time we stopped at McDonald's (yea, that's right, one last super mega processed meal before homesteading month begins) on the way home, he couldn't stop hugging me.

And with that, Hiking/Backpacking month is over.  That's a wrap people.
I hiked.  I camped.  I backpacked.  I cried.  I laughed.  I did it.

And I have my photos and my Smartwool to remember it always.

Looking forward to Urban Homesteading....


Melissa Baumgart and Amy Baranski said...

That was such a beautiful spot. I'm glad we went. - Amy

Bob Redmond said...

That photo of Lily's pink jacket looks amazing against the bright background. Nice post too! I can't believe you both start ANOTHER adventure this month.

Melissa Baumgart and Amy Baranski said...

Thanks, Bob! And of course, we do, another adventure. As Always! Onward!!!!