Ben and I have a tradition of hiking around the many waterfalls in Oregon on our Anniversaries. One of the best Anniversaries we had was our 5th,when we got to hike the Eagle Creek trail to Punchbowl Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, just the two of us. Ben's parents were visiting and took care of Sophie for the day and the following night. In our 12 years of marriage we have gone on only a handful of dates so when we do it is really a big deal to us.
This year we took our little tribe to the Silver Falls State Park to do some hiking and have a picnic lunch. The picnic didn't go so well with the two littlest kids refusing to eat anything, despite my warnings of a long hike ahead ,but they were troopers on the hike and we had a good time. It was a good hike for the kids and me too actually with a 25lb baby on my back the whole time and a pretty steep hill to climb up at the end of the loop. We found a bench to rest at in the middle of the hike and took a nursing and diaper change break, we met another family with a babe Nalah's size who was walking alongside her parents who had no backpack carrier for her along with them and they were going another 4 miles! Oh my goodness, that is hardcore!! Living in the city my kids can't handle that kind of hardcore hiking, not even my 12 year old who complained most of the way back. Me,I was happy as a clam I need to find a way to get out more. I am determined to find a local hiking group I can join this summer so I can do some real hiking on a regular basis without dragging the kids along or having to brave it alone.
I am so grateful to live in this beautiful state. Being very limited on our travels since flying a family of five anywhere is so ridiculously outside our budget, I think we are very fortunate to be "stuck" here.