Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Take a Hike, Mister!

Today, I headed out for another first. My first woodsy/trail hike with both kids and no Mr. J to help out. H is a go, go, go kid. He loves to run, he's independant and, as he told me several times today, he's "the leader."

I've said before that I joined a meet-up for outdoorsy families with a little trepidation. I have to say, though, that I've enjoyed all the excursions so far as most of the battle in getting out is just having a destination and a time to be there. My debate over stroller vs. backpack was futile as this was definitely a backpack hike. I had planned to take the Kelty frame pack we have, but then decided that I didn't really want to make room for it in our over-stuffed car, so I had the brilliant idea to use the Snugli in it's back-pack capacity; which I've never done before.


I've had the Snugli through both kids and can count the number of times I've used it on both hands. It's just a lot of buckles and fasteners but today, I was glad I had it. I tried it on at home to make sure I wasn't delusional and that it really did have the capability of being worn as a back-pack. It fastened easily and securely across my chest and hips so I figured we were in business.


When I got the trail and was the first to arrive, I started condensing our lunch down by feeding C's to his while he was still in the carseat, and scarfing my salad lettuce tossed in vinaigrette (not just any, mind you...it's Cindy's Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Vinaigrette...so good!)


I then started to realize that I didn't really know how I would get Charlie in the pack while it was on my back. Then it dawned on me that I'd load him in it, and then use his carseat as a 'safety zone' to hover over as I carefully, ever so carefully, put on the pack without dumping him on his head. All to the soundtrack of Henry screaming in a falsetto that would put a dog whistle to shame that he wanted 'to go on a walk.'


Baby on board, I started to fasten the chest strap...wait...how does this go together again? I don't understand...It fit just fine at home. It took a little humiliation and the beginnings of the beads of sweat to realize that Charlie's weight had just shifted the straps and I needed to do a little adjustment to get the mess of mesh and cloth straightened out but it still fit just fine.


Boy, did it fit! I think I should have tried on the pack with the shirt I planned to wear because I had cleavage that would rival Pam Anderson. Wow, boob-tastic was the first word that popped into my head. Is this a Snugli or a Wonderbra? Maybe I could wear him on my back everyday, because the girls can use all the help they can get!


The hike itself was great. Trout Brook Reservation in Holden has water throughout the first little part of the trail, so there are bridge crossings, and the trails have spots that still have evidence of ice storm damage and other debris across, but it just added to the challenge and fun. The more than 8 plus miles of trail are clearly marked, and definitely don't bring a stroller, because you won't get more than 50 feet on the trail without having to turn around. Once we were a little further from the water, I was able to comfortably let H run ahead, and he was blissfully exhausted by the time we headed back.


The one warning (well, besides the dog-owners who ignored the "please clean up your own poo" signs) is that it is a sanctioned hunting area, so wear bright colors during the various seasons and don't let the kiddos stray too far ahead. For today, it was fantanstic, and a great choice for a mom of more than one kid who wants more than a paved path with no scenery.


There is nothing better than the smell of the woods when a fresh, clean breeze blows through!
(The pic is J and H on our first outing to Purgatory Chasm...before we realized that Henry is too tall for the frame pack without propping his feet on the frame...oops!)

2 comments:

Alex Elliot said...

I'm glad you had such a good time! Thanks for the photo explanation because I didn't think it looked like you!

lisa said...

Hey!! Lisa from parent group here! I would love to join you on an outdoor excursions sometime. Sounds fun!! I love Trout Brook, and also the Rail Trail in West Boylston. Erica and H would probably have fun running around and being active and crazy! :) Let me know what ya think! I am really enjoying reading your blog!!