There is a hike close to our house called Mount Baldy. It is a pretty frequently hiked trail and one that our family really loves. We normally hike the back side of the mountain because it is not as steep, but this time our kids had other plans. We got to this little pond where we normally turn right and make our way up the switch backs but this time my girls looked across the pond at a neighboring moutain and said they wanted to go straight up there. Honestly, for a second my husband and I just stared at each other trying to decide if it would be a good idea but then we just went for it. I kind of feel like if they are excited about it (and it isn’t dangerous) than we might as well go for it!
Luckily enough there was a little trail that is probably only used in berry picking season for part of the way up. It led us by watermelon berries, crow berries, blueberries, and all the fireweed we could ever imagine. Seriously it was a harvesters paradise!! We will have to go back with tubs to fill!! I couldn’t stop laughing because Kate was shorter than a lot of the vegetation around her but it didn’t freak her out of crush her spirits. She just kept hiking upwards like a champ! I was a little nervous that she was going to have to be held the whole way which would have been really difficult! I only had to hold her on my shoulders a couple times to get though really steep parts. (And yeah, my legs were screaming!)
Once we got above the tree line it was easier in the fact that there wasn’t a narrow trail to follows. It was still incredibly steep but we could go wherever we wanted. An added perk of this hike that was literally every time we stopped to rest we could reach down and gather a handful of blueberries. I am not sure I have ever been anywhere that was this covered in berries, it was so wonderful! I really hope little things like this the girls can remember when they are older. Or at least remember when they see pictures of it. I am trying my best to document life in Alaska through photos and videos but I am sure that I am lacking in some departments! The higher we went the better the views got and the more excited the girls became. I think it was a mix of being able to see how far they had come and seeing how close the top was. Although, if you have hiked a mountain before you know that the summit is ever changing and constantly seeming to get father and father away! Haha!
I can’t lie and say it was all rainbows and butterflies, quite honestly this hike almost didn’t even happen. There was so.much.whining before the hike even started! We almost threw the towel in. Then again before we were even out of the parking area Kate was complaining about her legs being tired. I knew it was going to happen, she is by far the least seasoned hiker and doesn’t even like walking around the neighborhood haha. There was a LOT of coaxing and bribing with food but you know what, she made it and that is all that counts! There were a lot of talks about how it’s not a bad thing to have tired legs, it just means your legs are getting stronger, and conversations about how the next time we go hiking it will feel even easier because she is working so hard this time. Then of course she road on our shoulders some of the times and that’s okay. She doesn’t have to be a pro hiker, she just has to give it her best effort!
Once we got to the top we stopped to have food and just relax for a bit before wandering around more then heading back down. This is one of my favorite parts of our hikes. I love sitting there with the kids after they have worked so hard to get to the top, and looking out on what we accomplished. Talk about immediate gratification!!!
So, what do you get when you mix 4 little kids and a hike straight up a moutain?
You get one of the most challenging, rewarding, growth invoking, awe inspiring days you can imagine! It is days like this that make my heart sing and my soul rejoice. I couldn’t love my family more and I am so grateful I get to share this beautiful world with them!!
If you have any questions about the gear we used, what we packed, or games we played along the way to keep their spirits up when they got tired leave a comment below and I will answer as soon as I can! ◡̈