Old Rag Mountain Hike

w/baby…

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I need to remember this day.

What started out as terrible turned into the best day, and a whole lot of lessons were learned along the way.

It was 8:30 pm we had cleaned the house, gone grocery shopping, fed and changed the baby and were ready for the drive to Warrenton.  After having just re-sleep trained him, we weren’t ready to mess up his schedule before the big camping trip in Texas.  He slept the whole way.  The plan was working perfectly.  We get to Warrenton around 11 and try to make the transition from car seat to pack n play.  UTTER FAILURE.  The softie in me couldn’t let him “cry it out”.  He was in a new room, new things, he heard his grandparents voices.  What if he was scared?… But by midnight or a little later I couldn’t take it.  “Micah take a turn with your son.  We are not going hiking tomorrow.  Text your friends right now and tell our friends to go without us.  Well at least we aren’t getting up at 6am to go.  This is crazy, we are crazy”.

Micah lovingly takes Haddon and gives him a comfort bottle (don’t judge) and sings him back to sleep.  Of course it works.  I for real think babies can sense your mood, and mine had not been nice.

I text my friend Beth: “So Haddon did not take the transition from car seat to bed well… Don’t know if the time will change, will keep ya posted.”

Micah texted his friends but his text made it sound like we definitely wouldn’t be there on time.

After playing a noise app all night long my phone died.  I didn’t tell Beth that the time HAD indeed changed.

The whole way to the mountain I tell Micah I am still excited to be going but I can’t shake the disappointment I feel that we missed our friends, that I failed texting Beth a more accurate estimate of our ETA, etc etc.  I tell him if we are going to do fun things with Haddon we should never, ever, under any circumstances have expectations like arrival times (he reminds me that we will never hang out with anyone else if that’s the case…).  Oh, right. Well how about just not early ones then.

If you know my friend Beth, you know that she is grace personified.  She exemplifies Christ like no other.  Forgiveness and Mercy are her nature.

She waited for two hours for us at a little café in Sperryville, VA.  We miss each other dearly and she wanted to be with us Saturday.  Thank you Beth.  Once again in life you show me what forgiveness, patience, and sweetness look like.

We get to the trailhead at 10:30 finally.

The others had started of course.

Old Rag Hike is an interesting one… what starts as a nice steady incline towards the mountain turns into a rock scramble before you even hit the rocky summit, coming down the mountain is steep but you end up on a scenic fire road that is a little easier on the heart and lungs (not so much your calves and toes).

We decide to take the fire road up.  Micah and I have done the hike together a couple times; Beth hasn’t yet so she doesn’t know she is “missing” the rock scramble.  We also figure we have to run into our other friends if we take this way.

I am SO glad we did.

The whole way up, every other adventurer coming down says: “oh there is a lot of ice ahead” “you might want to turn back” “you have a baby on this hike?”.

I was already in a good mood.

Something happens to me in the mountains.  Their magnificence points me to God and gives me strength every time I’m in them.  I see them on 64 and tear up.  I miss them so much.

Instead of feeling disappointed again, I kindly smile and say “oh, how far up?  Thanks for the warning.  Don’t worry we know we might have to turn back”

My husband rocks and carried that sleeping baby on his back the whole way.  We took the snowy path less traveled.  It was icy in some parts but we were wearing good shoes and utilized the trees like they were the best walking sticks around.

We meet up with our friends at the summit.  Eat, take pictures, hide behind trees and from people to pee and head back down the same way we came up.  We hiked back down all together having fun conversation about mountain people, babies, insane past hikes, and everything in between.

It’s okay that we didn’t do the whole loop.

It’s okay that we were late.

It’s okay that Haddon didn’t nap in his pack n play.

It’s okay that other people were shocked to see a baby on a mountain.

We know our strengths, we trust our God, and we know our limits.

It was the best day.  Haddon loved being outdoors.  He slept amazing that day and that night.

I am so thankful I didn’t let disappointment in the way things were supposed to go cripple me from enjoyment.  We want to adventure with our kids.  I want to be calm and fun.  Not frazzled and distressed when things go differently.

I learned a lot Saturday. Grace not perfection…

One in particular is that I need to unplug more often.  It was so nice to only use my phone as a camera and nothing else.

If anyone ever stumbles across this blog and wants a few tips on how we fed, changed diapers, etc on a mountain.  Comment and I’ll be glad to share what worked and what didn’t for us.

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Posted on March 25, 2013, in Baby, Friends, Hiking, Shenandoah National Park, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. We are thinking of taking our 8 month old On Wednesday. Weather will be in 80s. We should really take the fire road right? Or is the scramble fine as long as there is no snow.

    Pindar

    • You know… if you have a pack that is secure I would try for the scramble… it’s the slippery stuff that you want to avoid with the extra weight I think. Of course, if you get to the scramble and just arent feeling it… turn back! Safety before pride 🙂

  2. Hello! So glad to see taking a baby on this hike is do-able. We are novice hikers and have a three month old who loves the outdoors. So Old Rag is just calling our names. But, naturally, I have questions. What baby carrier backpack were you using? And was there anywhere to dispose of dirty diapers? Or did you keep them until back at parking lot’s garbage can? And how long did it take you? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • Katherine I’m so sorry I missed this. If it still helps we have a Kelty carrier and yea we packed them out. I don’t remember how long it took sorry! depends on nursing/feeding, etc. Have fun!

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