December 01, 2009

The Hills are Alive. . .

with the sound of Larsons. ah-ah-ah-ahhhhh.
Quite literally. We have had a couple unseasonably warm weekends lately so we decided to take advantage of it before winter hits hard and fast and cabin fever soon takes over the household.

What is the best thing to do with 5 little kids with 10 little legs -- 4 of those little legs not even able to walk? Why, go on a hike, of course, up the tallest peak in Shenandoah National Park.

We loaded up the kid's packs with trail food, put Bridger in his special supportive stroller seat that attaches to a jogging base, put Eliza in the front pack and off we went. The trail has numbered markers posted as you go along, and the kids felt it necessary at each and every number post to stop and refuel -- drink from their water bottles, eat some trail mix, take a breather, drink some more, find a perfect walking stick, try some beef jerky, spit out the beef jerky, drink some more. . . after the 9th trail marker Alan and I began thinking that we could be in for a very long hike. For all we knew the markers could go up to 90! To add to the fun and to make sure we were seen (and heard) by every hiker on that side of the mountain, Bridger would become hysterical every time we stopped. He was practically hyperventilating with excitement as we pushed him along the trail, and each time we stopped he would scream and yell to keep going. I'm sure that all the fellow hikers on that trail felt extra safe that afternoon with us there to scare off any bears in the area. To them we were probably mistaken as the Trail Safety Patrol posing as a crazy family spending 10 hours on this 2 hour trail. So at trail marker 10 we declared that there wouldn't be any more snacking until we passed at least 10 more markers. Luckily, the markers stopped at 19, when we reached the summit. The kids were speechless at this view!

As we began to hike down, Lance found this hollowed out tree that was just his size. An elderly man walked past, saw Lance, smiled and told his wife to check out that strange tree. The woman peeked around the bark, jumped a mile and screamed when she saw Lance. It was hilarious (for everyone but that grandma).

As we are adjusting to the new curve ball in our life and learning all that we can't do now, we are trying to find those things that we can do. And crazy, loud, snack-filled family hikes are now on the "can" list.

And did I say I was going private? That assumes that I have time to figure out how to go private. I'll get to that soon, until then, enjoy anonymity.