Day 85: Family Day

December 23, 2011

You hate hiking with a passion. But when we were dating, you gave hiking a shot for me. I took you to a waterfall, which was at the end of 3 miles of uphill walking. Although you hated the walk, you loved the waterfall and the flowers I picked for you along the way. After that experience, you told me you would never go hiking again. We’ve hiked many times since!

Yesterday, I decided to work through the evening so I could take our family out on a hike during the day. How is this an act of love, since you hate hiking? Well, I picked an easy trail (or so I thought) with a cool destination: the ruins of an abandoned castle. Everyone, including you, was excited about doing this and happy that I took the morning/afternoon off of work. In fact, maybe I should clarify: you don’t hate hiking altogether, just the tough hikes; you even like hiking when it’s easy.

I unknowingly took us to the wrong trailhead, so we ended up hiking two hours up switchbacks with 3 kids under 5 and without finding the castle. I carried one or both of our older kids most of the time and you carried our youngest the entire time. We kept thinking that the castle would be over the next hill, but we were always disappointed.

Finally, we stopped for a snack at the top of one of the hills and enjoyed a tremendous view. Some bikers stopped to talk with us, so I asked them about the castle. One of them said we had 1.5 miles to go as he pointed to the top of a ridge in the distance. I asked him if there was an easier way. He said, “Yeah, you can drive to it” (!). Then he clarified by saying that you can park within a 10-minute walk of the castle. That must’ve been the place I thought we were going.

So, we hiked to our car, then drove to the other trailhead. We walked literally five minutes on a dirt road to get to the castle. The castle was awesome! Our girls had a great time climbing on walls, walking in fireplaces, and talking about what kind of princess used to live there.

To reward everyone for being so great even though our hike turned out to be tough, I took us all to Chili’s (which served a double purpose because we made it our oldest’s birthday dinner).

I wish I could take you out on a hike alone (and I will someday), but such is our station in life. We don’t mind so much, though, because we love spending time with our kids.

PS: I just talked to you about our hike. You said you had a blast.