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Hiking, Hiking with baby, Mount Rainier, Top Trips

Lily Meets The Mountain

Lily has been on a whole bunch of little treks around the Watershed and Tiger Mountain, but our first “big” hike as a family of four – snowshoeing on Mount Rainier – was…interesting. Okay, so it was complete chaos from beginning to end.

Paradise Paradise

We were too tired the night before to start packing in advance, and we don’t yet have a routine down for what we need to bring on a toddler + newborn hike, especially in snow. Then Lily woke up too early from her nap and was cranky and overtired, our grocery/nursing stop along the way took far too long, and we pulled into the Paradise parking lot much later than we had anticipated.

Paradise

Paradise

As if we weren’t late enough already, everything takes sooo. damn. long. when there’s one small child for each adult, especially when one child is a totally helpless newborn and the other is a toddler, intent on creating mayhem wherever she goes.

Paradise

When we finally got our snowshoes on and the kids strapped to our bodies, it was so late that we realized we just wouldn’t have time to have the fancy picnic we had planned and still make it back down the mountain before they closed the gate at Longmire at 5pm. Gaah! So we just hiked up to a spot that was relatively sheltered from the wind, dropped our packs, and decided that we were going to have fun no matter what, damnit! And we did.

Paradise

Nora dug into the carrots and hummus with gusto (and refused to wear her sunglasses most of the time, because toddler) and chatted up a storm about how she wants her own crampons and snowshoes and that she’s going to climb Rainier one day just like pappa.

Paradise Paradise
Paradise Paradise

She also rediscovered the joy of glissading!

Paradise

Lily was still overtired and had her crankypants on until I gave her a pacifier in her wrap, and then she melted into my body like butter. It’s pretty much the greatest feeling in the world.

Paradise

Throughout the whole thing, I had Jason Mraz’s Life is Wonderful stuck in my head, and you know what, it really is. I’m so glad we have these girls and each other and these mountains and this life. And I’m so glad I’m in a mental place again where I can look around at the chaos and say, in total honesty, that even a trip like this is worth it. (I could do without the backseat screaming in stereo, though.)

Paradise

So, lessons learned for next time: (1) Write a pack list. (2) Get everything ready the night before. (3) Enjoy the madness. (4) Bring earplugs for the car.

Paradise

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4 Comments

  • Reply Bobby February 17, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Stereo backseat screaming is the worst! Beautiful photos, can’t wait to introduce Rowan to Rainier one day!

  • Reply Lisa February 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I really appreciate this post! We wanted to take Logan snowshoeing this winter but decided not to because we didn’t really have gear for him. He’s too big for me to put him in the Ergo and generate body heat that way. And he would have been pretty miserable in the hiking backpack we have without good winter clothes. I’m hoping for next year!!

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz February 23, 2017 at 8:04 am

      You could always keep an eye on the forecast to see if you’ll have an inversion – sometimes it’ll be freezing and crappy down here, but super hot above the clouds on Rainier (or Mount Hood) – that’s what we did for Nora’s first trip. Or wait until late April/early May when there’s still snow but it’s much warmer out there.

  • Reply CarrieH February 18, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Ha! So glad you are feeling better. Two kids make so much more work than one–kind of amazing. Enjoy the chaos, otherwise you’ll never get out of the house.

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