Can you believe that when I first started hiking, I couldn’t understand why people would hike the same trails over and over again when we have an endless supply to choose from here in WA? Lololol. These days we mostly do the same hikes every year, and life doesn’t seem complete without them.
One of those hikes is our annual winter/spring outing to Paradise on Mount Rainier. I’m proud that we’ve kept that tradition going as we’ve had kids, especially last year when the combination of newborn + toddler made it a special kind of chaos.
This year, we’ve graduated to toddler + preschooler, and we ended up having the kind of day I used to dream about before we had kids.
There were definitely some mini meltdowns, but we are three and a half years into this parenting biz now and can hold our own against the fleeting wrath of a young’un.
Mostly, it was just so much fun. Nora snowshoed up the first hill all by herself (thank you for the Tubbs kids’ snowshoes, Moosefish!) and she was so proud of herself. Everyone we passed told her how awesome she was doing, and she was just glowing with confidence. She chose to ride the rest of the way in the dad-powered sled, like royalty, but still. Seeing your kids mastering new skills never gets old.
Lily wants to do everything big sister does, so she wasn’t happy until she got to ride in the sled too.
We sat down for lunch in our usual spot, just past the Alta Vista knob, and soaked up the sun for a while. While the kids were busy with their sandwiches, I took the time to enjoy the views. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to this side of the mountain now, but I never tire of it. That big, beautiful volcano, the jagged peaks of the Tatoosh. Yes it’s crowded down by the parking lot, but most of the people stay down there. Walk 15 minutes and you lose most of the crowds.
…and sometimes encountering other hikers isn’t a bad thing, especially when they offer to take your photo and you end up with a snapshot of your all four of you together in a beautiful place at a very happy moment in time.
Thank you, Paradise, for living up to your name once again.