Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Two Happy Hikers on a Simple Adventure

My happy hiker :)

My happy hiker ūüôā

“I don’t want Daddy to go to work tomorrow,” said a sweet little Cragbaby the Sunday after New Year’s.¬† He’d grown quite¬† comfortable with the idea of having¬†Daddy around to¬†play with him all day over the holidays (and to be honest, I had too!)¬† I knew that the good-bye at breakfast Monday morning had the potential to be kinda rough.¬† So I decided to plan a fun adventure for just the two of us, hoping that any lingering sadness about Daddy being gone would be counteracted by enthusiasm about our special day.¬† Since C has had so much fun trekking in and out of the crag on his own two feet recently, I decided that a morning on the hiking trail would be the perfect distraction.

It was a clear, crisp day, cold enough for coats and hats, but no gloves required.¬† After forgetting how much longer it takes for just¬†one person to get a toddler ready in the morning, we finally arrived at McDowell Nature Center around 10.¬† After checking out all the reptiles and amphibians on display inside, as well as popping off a few tunes at the outdoor xylophone, C was ready to hike.¬† We took off down the Sierra Trail, C armed with his new camera he got for Christmas, and me with a new Hydration Pack from Jetflow (review coming on Thursday!)¬† I told C he could take pictures of anything that looked interesting or beautiful, which meant that we stopped every few steps.¬† The majority of his photo subjects were trees, leaves, moss, and lichen, although there were a few random (and rather unflattering) picture of me and my pant legs as well.¬† Evidently C is still working on his photo composition skills…

The budding photographer

As we neared the end of the loop trail, C spied some little benches and announced that we needed a snack break.¬† While we chomped on some cashews, I showed C how to work the Hydration System.¬† At once he decided that he needed to be in charge of the backpack, which meant that the Mommy got stuck with the camera, a hiking stick, and 3 leaves – one big, one medium, and one little (a Daddy one, a Mommy one, and a “C” one.)¬†

Trees make for good photo subjects (ie, they don’t move…)

It was a pretty laidback hike – we moved at a snail’s pace, and barely covered a mile in 45 minute’s time.¬† But we explored, we sang (Christmas songs by C’s request), we observed, and we enjoyed each other’s company.¬† I followed his lead, and happily followed silly toddler trail directions –
“Stay BEHIND me, Mommy.”
“Go over that root, Mommy.”
“Kick those leaves, Mommy.”
“Be careful Mommy.¬† This part is slippery.”¬†(my personal favorite.)

To C, it was a morning filled with excitement and adventure, and it definitely did the job of keeping C’s mind off of the missing Daddy (although¬†at one¬†point he did announce that he missed¬†Daddy and¬†that he was going to tickle him when he got home…)¬† To me, it was a great chance for some one on one time with my little boy.¬† The neat thing was that it really took very little effort on my part¬†–¬†we just threw a few essentials into the car (food, water, warm layers, hiking stick, and camera) and hit the road!¬† I guess the moral of the story is to not make things too complicated.¬† Just because you don’t have your whole weekend free, or even the whole day, doesn’t mean you can’t fit in a little bit of adventure with your little one in tow.¬† Even if it’s just something as simple as a 10 minute stroll around the neighborhood with your tyke, it’ll go a long way towards raising a child with a spirit of exploration, as well as refreshing your own perspective.¬† What simple adventures has your family done (or been wanting to do) lately?


4 Responses to “Two Happy Hikers on a Simple Adventure”

  1. Sounds like it was a FUN day! ūüôā


  2. Fabulous thoughts! I have been thinking of this often lately! ūüôā Thanks, Erica!


  3. We try for an adventure each day, sometimes large but many times it’s small. I’d rather have a small adventure at a local natural area than to have to wait until all the stars align for a grand adventure. Not only that but the small adventures prepare us for those days when we are able to go big – the gear is ready, we know the supplies to pack and because it’s a habit it’s easier to get going. Adventures are part of our lives and we enjoy that time together, big and small.


    • Erica

      Kathy – Indeed it was fun!

      Amelia – Thanks, glad you enjoyed it ūüôā

      Suzi – Great point about the logistics of big adventures being easier when you “practice” all the time with smaller ones. Our family has certainly found that to be true!

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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN