Thursday, October 31, 2013

Another Adventure . . . This Time with Tears

A few Saturdays ago we ventured back into the wilderness to hike again.  Unfortunately, this day in the mountains proved to be a little less idyllic than my Walden hike post.

The forecast at home was for bright and sunny weather.  We took that as a good sign, and headed up into the mountains.  Once we arrived at the top, it wasn't so bright and sunny as we thought, in fact, snow surrounded us.  We had to park our car several feet from the trail head, because we were afraid we wouldn't be able to get it out, if we drove down into the snow.

Another oversight was the fact that we didn't pack any winter clothes, we even forgot Hunter's sweatshirt all together.  Jim took one for the team, and sacrificed his sweatshirt for Hunter.  Jim was in short sleeves and shorts the entire hike.  He didn't complain once.  I said it was probably because he's from Canada and a little mountain-top snow is like a summer picnic to him.  Hunter was grateful for the extra warmth.

When we began the hike, everyone was in fine spirits.  It was exciting to trudge through the snow, jump over icy little streams, and suck in the zephyr air.  Everything was going well until Tralee informed me that as she was trying to walk ON the ice instead of OVER it, her foot broke through and became completely submerged in frigid water.  We explained to her that we would just have to keep walking, until we came to the end of the hike at the bottom of the mountain.  The further down we hiked the warmer it became, and only patches of snow remained.  We hoped Tralee's icy foot could make it.  Our plan was to take off her shoes and socks, and let them air out while we wrapped her frosty toes in our jackets once we reached the lake.  Meanwhile, the rest of our descent was spent listening to our daughter tell us how cold her foot was.  I felt sorry for her, but couldn't do anything at the moment except keep walking forward, and encourage her to do the same.

Top of the mountain

First part of our hike

I knew this day would be a good one!

A mile or so later, we came to the bottom of the mountain.  We beheld Hidden Lake in all its glory, and relished in the fact that the climate had warmed right up.  There wasn't a snowflake in sight.  HOORAY!  

We removed our daughter's shoes and socks, hung them in sunbathed trees to dry, and wrapped up her feet in my fleece coat.  Also, MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, we found an extra pair of socks in Jim's backpack.  Once the children and I were well settled, Jim walked around the lake and started to fish. Tralee, Hunter, and I removed several more layers of clothing because it was quite steamy sitting in the sun.  We layered our jackets, shirts, and even a pair of pants on the ground and made them into a little picnic blanket of sorts.  Then we took our rations out of the backpack and ate a little lunch by the lake while Jim caught trout.

After a while, Tralee's shoes and socks were mostly dry, and a cool wind started blowing, so we disassembled our picnic blanket, and clothed ourselves again.  We walked around the lake a bit with Jim, and then decided it was time to head back up the mountain.

Socks in a tree

Hunter got so hot he even took off his shirt.

Writing in her journal while we picnicked in the wilderness

Hidden Lake

I just like this picture
Tralee was being cute
One of Jim's many catches

So this picture is horridly unfocused, but it's the only one of the four of us, so on the blog it goes!

Hunter found this wonky tree.  He liked it so much, he requested his picture be taken with it

While I was taking this picture of Tralee on the wonky tree Hunter says, "Tralee, you just look, like, hideous up there!"  I asked him, "Hunter, do you know what hideous means?"  His response was, "No."  So I explained it to him, and a bashful look came over his face.  I don't think he meant to call his sister hideous.  However, ever since he learned the meaning of this word he HAS called her hideous when he's mad at her.  
The ascent was by far the most grueling part of our day -- mentally and physically.  Once we hit the snow again and the sun began to set, the air bit at us with gusts of wind, the frozen ground gave way beneath our feet as we stumbled across it, and both children let us know in very vocal terms how little they appreciated this part of our adventure.  We stopped several times to let them rest and drink water.  Jim took turns giving the kids piggy back rides when their legs didn't want to move.  I held the other little's hand and encouraged them forward as Jim carried the other.  It wasn't easy.

 Many tears were shed (by the kids), motivational speeches were given (by Jim and myself), and several curses were thought or mumbled (by me) on the accent, but we made it!!  Jim was definitely the captain of this voyage.  I tried my best to stay upbeat, but I can only take so much whining and crying from the kids before I start whining and crying myself.  When Jim noticed my spirits were waning, he cracked a joke, gave me a wink, or smiled/laughed in such a way that turned my scowl back into a smile.  We made it back to our car in four pieces of windblown, rosy cheeked, tear stained, sore, yet undefeated mountaineers.  

This picture is probably the last time my kids smiled on the hike back up the mountain.  Once we entered back into the snowy territory their faces only reflected utter melancholy.

This, my friends, is the last picture taken before we hit the snowy tundra, after that we put our cameras down, and game faces on!

On the drive back home, I reflected upon or adventure.  I realized how proud I was of our little family, and I told my fellow Jacobs clan just that.  We accomplished something difficult, and we did it together.  I have a feeling, this is one of those memories that will keep coming back in stories for years to come:  

Remember when Dad took us on that hike when the mountain was covered in snow, and all we had were sweatshirts and tennis shoes? 

Remember when Tralee's foot fell through the ice, and we had to dry out her shoes and socks on pine trees? 

Remember how each kid was crying the last hour of the hike, and we kept telling them stories to keep their minds occupied?  

Remember how Hunter looked like a little Ewok in Jim's sweatshirt?

This hike was not a Walden Pond kind of day, but it was a great all the same!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall Family Fun Night

Two weekends ago we spent our Friday evening at Tralee's school for its annual Fall Family Fun Night.  The kids dressed up in their costumes, and we walked around Tralee's school playing games, visiting with friends, eating Halloween snacks, making crafts, purchasing books at the book fair, and taking a trip down the haunted hallway.  The night was clearly all about our children's enjoyment, and enjoyment they had!

Tralee went as a vampire, and Hunter as an angry bird.  We didn't have any official Halloween make-up yet, so I dug some eyeshadow and lipstick from my own makeup bag, and Tralee and I did the best we could with what we had.  I even had some sparkly white eyeshadow I generously spread across Tralee's face with a powder brush to give her the "Twilight" sun sparkle look.  I think her vampire make-up wasn't too bad considering we had limited supplies.  

Sparkling in the sun 

Hunter's costume was hilarious.  We stuffed two pillows in the pockets inside this giant angry bird, and watched (and laughed) as he bumbled around the rest of the evening.

Fall Family Fun night was great!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Declicious Autumn

Not too long ago, the kids and I stayed outside, after picking Tralee up from school, to play in the leaves.  The weather was gorgeous, the fallen leaves were crunchy and plentiful, so we did what anyone should do when faced with a plethora of shaken leaves.  We jumped into piles of them, built forts with them, buried one another in them, piled them on our heads, and engaged in leaf fights.  It was wonderful, and halfway through I got out the big camera to capture our harvest fun.  Below are a few images from our impromptu autumn fiesta. 

Field Trip

Hunter's preschool had a field trip a few weeks ago.  We started off at the local fire station, then finished our afternoon at the nearby pumpkin farm.  It was a lovely morning spent with my handsome little devil, and his preschool buds.

Hunter had the jumping pillow almost all to himself.  He was in heaven!

Sharing a snack with his fellow angry birds admirers

Picking his pumpkin

My little jailbird

So proud of his pumpkin and gourd

Photo op

Hunter and I had a grand ol' afternoon together.