REI

Friday, September 1, 2017

Journal - Sometimes hiking doesn't turn out perfect, and that's ok

Sometimes hiking doesn't turn out perfect and that's OK

Laurel Fall, Gatlinburg, TN


For the past 6 months I've really delved into the hiking world head first and have learned one important lesson. Hiking is not always magical and perfect, sometimes it's really hard. There are times where you will be crying your eyes out on a trail, ready to give up, and will literally question why the heck you do this in the first place. Especially for those of us who hike with infants, toddlers and/or kids. Basically once you add a small human to the mix the chances of a "perfect hike" go to almost 0%, lol. Something is always wrong, we forgot the favorite snack, God forbid we have an explosive diaper on the trail, and so much more!

One of these moments, for me, happened while out hiking with my mom at an Old Sugar Mill in Port Orange, FL. I use a hiking baby carrier to carry my daughter on my back. FYI, best investment EVER!!!! She's just sitting in there, drinking her sippy cup, relaxing, while my mom and I are enjoying the beautiful gardens around the property. Everyone was so relaxed and calm, then all of a sudden, I felt this wet trickle down my leg. I immediately asked my mom is she put Jolene's spare sippy cup inside the carrier's back pocket. I thought, maybe the water leaking out. Alas no, my daughter had an explosive diarrhea diaper all over herself and it was now leaking into the carrier, onto my back and down my legs! Panic, just shear grossed out panic! What do I do?! So I calmed down, realized my daughter wasn't crying, but laughing, so I better take advantage of her happiness and get back to the car. My mom kept asking me if I wanted to take her out of the carrier but I was so scared that the diaper was acting like a ticking time bomb in the carrier and didn't want the poop filled situation to get any worse. Once back to the car we get her out, cleaned up, changed and then I ended up driving home sitting on a towel without a shirt (wearing a sports bra), because my back and pants were covered in baby poop!

The calm before the "poop storm"!

Another time when we were in TN on a vacation we had a momma bear break into our truck and steal our lunches just before we got ready to go hiking! We had sandwiches, snacks, Jolene's food, drinks and more all in one bag. Big mistake! We found out really quickly that this bear could open a truck door and then took the entire bag of lunch with her! After feeling like complete “tourist idiots” we headed back inside, made a whole new bag of food (which we guard with our lives) and then headed off to the trail!



The most recent example of a "not so perfect hike" happened a few weeks ago. Our favorite park to hike, which is right near our house, is Wekiwa Springs State Park. We've hiked many of the trails there but this time we wanted to try something new. So we hiked the bicycle path, which is a 9 mile loop thru the woods. The beginning of the path was great, we got there early, it was still cool outside, and we were all excited. Then we hit the biggest collection of bugs I've ever seen. We were on a part of the trail for almost 2 miles fighting off mosquitoes the sign of a golf ball, horse flies, bees, you name it! I walked in front since I had Jolene on my back in the carrier, while my husband was behind me swatting off all the bugs that got on her. We kept coating ourselves over and over again with bug spray but it wasn't enough. When we finally got out of that part of the trail we were then met with a stampede of Wild Hogs! Luckily they turned before they got too close to us! And about another mile in guess what? More bugs!!! I am telling you, when we got done with the hike both my husband and I looked like we had a disease. We had so many bug bites. Luckily our daughter didn't get too many because we kinda covered her in insect spray and towels. Needless to say we will not be doing hikes near the swamp anymore until the winter time when the bugs die down.

Trying to escape the bugs!

These are just 3 of the multitude of times we have had rough experiences hiking. It's never easy, but worth it. I love seeing the smile on Jolene's face when she sees a bird fly by or hears a deer run thru the brush! I love experiencing the close family time we have on the trail with no technology getting in our way. We would go thru the hard times on the trail 100x over again as long as we know we have one another and we are experiencing it together! These are memories we may. It may not be happy ones at the moment but in the future we will look back and laugh about! So don’t let these minor hiccups scare you or your family from experiencing the great outdoors. It’s what makes the trip an Adventure!



Until Next Time, Keep On Hiking!

~Crystal Osborn~
Osborn Family Hikes

www.osbornfamilyhikes.com