Hiking with Kids Part 2
The Evolving Hiker
This is the next chapter in our families outdoor history. Hiking is now a very big part of us. It started out being about myself and my children. Now, my husband has caught the bug.
To sum it up, two summers ago we were flat land hikers, you know the kind. We liked to walk at the beach, and anywhere that was relatively easy. Last year we really looked for places local that gave a little more variety like Pawtuckaway State Park, and we did a couple 4,000 footers in the White Mountains. All of this gaining momentum because my son wanted to become part of the "4,000 footer club" and conquer Mt. Washington.
Well, things have changed even more. Last summer my brother in law (BIL) promised my son that he would take him on an overnight backpacking trip in the Whites. My son was nervous but so excited at the same time. I suggested that my husband go with them and call it a "guys weekend". Our families ended up going away for the weekend staying at the Moose Brook State Park in Gorham NH. The girls - myself, my daughter, and my sister-in-law stayed at the campground while the boys did their thing.
We didn't have an ounce of equipment but my resourceful BIL was able to borrow the essentials for both my son and my husband. Their packs were large. My 10 year old son's pack was somewhere between 20 - 30 pounds. They were headed to Mt. Moriah via Carter Moriah Trail and descend via Stony Brook Trail. I dropped them off at the trailhead around 10:00 am, expecting them back later the next day. My husband wasn't too sure about this but he had resolved to do it for his son because he know it meant so much to him.
It was a grueling hike for two people not acustomed to carrying this much weight up a mountain. Some of the terrain encountered was a little hairy considering the inexperience too. The bonding that took place on the mountain, obstacles and fear overcome, and beautiful views were well worth the time. I was a little jealous I didn't get to go if had it been a day hike.
What happened this weekend though, changed the course of our families hiking habits. Now, there was a shift from me being the leader to my husband taking the reins. Now the 48 4,000 footers were now in his sights as well as my sons, and there was no turning back.
This Christmas my husband bought equipment to be able to backpack. The reason being is that there are some 4,000 footers out there that are not done in a day and you have to spend the night out there. We have all been tenting but my daughter and I have never been out in the complete wilderness camping and I do have to say that I have some reservations. I will however, "suck it up" for the benefit of my kids. It is bound to be a memory maker.
Hiking in this manner has been such a confidence builder in my children. They are stronger, they tend to make healthier choices because of the goals that they want to accomplish, and it has been a great way to teach humility, and compassion when including friends of theirs that are still in the more flat land hiking mode.
Our goal for this summer is to cross off 6 more peaks from our list.