Monday, February 24, 2014

Good Little Weekend on the Foothills Trail

For the last few years, our family has been in kind of a rut when it comes to weekends. Between having a third family member, working weekends, and such, I suppose that's not all that surprising. But Hubster and I sat down last week with our calendars and said, "No more. It's time for us to start living on weekends again."

So this weekend the plan was to (a) take Anne to a movie if the weather was bad, or (b) go backpacking if the weather was good. As it turned out, the weather was perfect.

Friday evening we got all the gear out and got things packed and ready to go. We still needed to get food, plus a replacement filter and a replacement battery for Anne's headlamp. So the next morning we went grocery shopping and gear shopping--which, of course, is always fun, except for the part where you have to give them money. Fortunately, Diamond Brand Outdoors gave us a very cool coffee mug for spending $50.

We were a little late hitting the Foothills Trail that afternoon, but we managed to hike the two miles to the campsite that night. Dan and I had argued some over how far we should plan for Anne to hike. We were in disagreement then, and we're still in disagreement now. (He said she could have hiked planned three miles if we'd had time for lots of breaks. I said that a mile was plenty for a four-year-old, and that I wouldn't plan for more than a mile and a half.) She started to get tired and cranky at the one-mile mark, but we finally made the two miles to a lovely campsite on a ridge overlooking Lake Jocassee.

We realized at some point that we'd forgotten (1) Froggy and (2) the hot chocolate. Horrors! Seriously. We ended up making a substitute Froggy out of bandannas and a bit of rope, and Dan and I tacitly agreed not to mention the hot chocolate (a good decision on our part, because she never mentioned it either). She named her substitute Froggy "Frog-white." Hubster misunderstood the name and thought it was "Frog-lite." Ha! A good name as well!

Froggy and Frog-white, back at the trailhead
At the campsite, Anne helped gather firewood and set up the tent. Dan had a nice campfire going by the time I was finished setting up house in the tent, and we had a yummy dinner featuring roasted all-beef hot dogs. I am not a big fan of hot dogs, but something in the old taste buds change when the hot dogs is roasted over an open campfire.

Anne was a little firecracker in the tent that night, bouncing from one end of the tent to the other, laughing, tickling us, amusing us to no end, and generally driving her tired parents crazy. She'd seemed apprehensive about the trip before we started, and I seriously think she was giddy at having made the hike and gotten this far. She also loves sleeping in a tent. Though "sleeping" is a strange word for giggling and squealing, and later trying to crawl into the mummy bag with Mommy.

Next morning, we lazed around the campsite for a couple of hours before packing up. Anne got her first lesson in pooping in the woods. (Is that TMI?) We also taught her how to hide evidence of where our tent was. It's so much fun teaching her "Leave No Trace" principles. I hope they'll be ingrained into her little mind by the time she's five.

The day before, I made a list of things to find on the trail, kind of like a scavenger hunt. Well, exactly like a scavenger hunt. It had things like a tiny pine cone, a heart-shaped stone, and a rock that is bigger than Daddy. Another item was every letter of the alphabet. That definitely made the hike more fun, and it had me looking at the woods in a way I never had before--instead of just looking at trees and rocks, I'd be thinking, "Could that rock be considered heart-shaped? Oh, look! The roots are making an N! Or maybe a Z!"

So much fun. I'm looking forward to our spring scavenger hunts, where I can put flowers on the list and teach her about wildflowers!!

All in all, it was a good weekend. When we got home, Hubster and I did yard work, which we hadn't done together in years. (We hadn't needed to at our last house.) Weirdly, I felt like I loved him more after we finished. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed doing yard work with him.

Now it's Monday, and the week lies stretched before me. I tutor someone this morning, and we tour a school this afternoon. (We are looking at pre-K options for our little one.) On mornings for the rest of the week, I'll be alternately working on a novel and editing Hubster's book. And then there is always housework. Always, always housework!

I'll stop rambling now. Have you guessed that I can't find my big orange journal notebook? Yeah, that's why I'm posting this "what-I-did-on-my-weekend" update to my old blog. :-)

1 comment:

Kelly K said...

I am glad you couldn't find the big orange journal notebook. I loved hearing about your wonderful weekend my friend. Anne will have hiked more by the time she is a first grader than most people do in a lifetime!