Thursday, September 27, 2012
My Shadow On The Trail
Well, this summer that milestone was reached. No diapers, no wet beds, and no qualms about going behind any tree, bush, or rock.
So a few weeks later, off we went.
When we parked our car and hit the trail the sun was already beginning to set. Slightly nervous, I knew we’d have to make decent time in climbing just under 1000 ft and hiking a couple miles. Doing it with a 3-year-old threw a major question mark into the whole planning. Thankfully though, on this night, my son was up to the challenge. When we began our hike, he took straight to the trail and embraced the unknown. We walked together, sometimes me ahead and he trailing, sometimes he running along to find a new stick. Every incline that included rocks to scale brought him great joy, and he scampered up them with glee. When he became tired, he’d give me the wide-eyed longing look and beg to be carried, but I’d point at the large pack on my back and tell him it wasn’t possible.
When we finally reached a nice grassy plateau in the mountains with a nearby meandering stream, up went our tent and we huddled inside. We cut sausage and ate baguettes and fruit snacks, we sipped on our water bottles, and we played some card games. I still can’t believe he survived until 9pm for dinner. Adventure can soften hunger pains, I guess.
As darkness fell - it fell fast - the cold came with it. I knew it would be cool a few thousand feet up there, but wasn’t quite prepared for just how cold. The night went well and we both slept soundly in our sleeping bags, but the morning was frigid. And asking a 3-year-old to stay in his sleeping bag at 7am when the sun has already been up for a whole hour was torture! So out of the tent we popped, and the chill smacked us in the face like a cold wet fish from Nineveh (or anywhere, really). We were freezing. And everything from the grass to the tent was wet with dew. I began packing up while my son shivered, but my hands were too cold to finish the job. Fires are outlawed in the park, so that option was out. The mountain peaks blocked direct sunlight and thus we were still in the shade, the cold and wet shade, at 8am.