Tuesday is now kiddo hiking day. We started the Tuesday hiking thing the first week in August, although it’s officially my plan for fall. With (almost) everything online this fall, I’ve managed to keep Tuesdays free and clear of anything. A first. I usually find something. I suppose something is hiking. Each week my plan it to take all five kiddos somewhere new to hike.
The inaugural Tuesday hike was Garfield Ledges. Minus Blaise. He was at a wilderness summer camp. Maybe it doesn’t count then? Except I had kiddos. And we were hiking. Blaise was hiking at camp. Maybe it counts? Anyhow, the girls and I hit the trail, checking Garfield Ledges off the list. We met one of Laine’s buddies and her younger sister—a buddy of Saige and Baby’s—at the trailhead. It was literally a girls hike, with all six kiddos and us moms.
The girls and me, before heading up to the ledge. And the gang of hiking kiddos.
Maive ready to get her hike on!
Garfield Ledges is a perfect kiddo hike. The trail is just over one mile up, so just over two miles total. It’s well-maintained and easy to follow, with plenty of interesting things to distract the kiddos from actually hiking. Which is exactly the way it should be with kiddos. Hiking is a time to explore and learn. Also a lesson for me to slow the you know what down, and focus on enjoying the hike. Of course I enjoy the views and being in nature when I hike, but kiddos change the hiking experience.
They stopped at anything and everything. There were boulders to climb. Fallen trees to explore. Logs to traverse. Huckleberries to pick. Spider webs to observe. Sticks to collect. Stumps to mount. Mushrooms to study. Moss to touch. A viewpoint to admire. Our pace was about 65 minutes per mile. I enjoy watching the kiddos in nature. Everything is exciting. And the way they take it all in, noticing the smallest of details. Things I totally overlook. Kids are pretty impressive. They’re learning from nature; I’m learning from them.
Just before reaching the ledge. And a sneak peak of the view.
About a mile up, we made it to the ledge. The view. Amazing. Beautiful. Green. For miles. Lucky for us, we were the only ones up there. It’s not the largest of ledges. Enough to take in the view if others are there but we scored having it to ourselves, settling down for a picnic lunch. I have the kiddos carry their own backpacks, complete with water, snacks, and lunches, and whatever else they want to bring. Even before having Maive, I’d have them carry their own stuff. One of the not so glorious parts of being a parent—kids want to hand you everything. Not if they have their own backpacks, wink wink.
View from the ledge.
Ledge picnicking and refueling.
We picnicked. We viewed. We pictured. A few 20-something gals arrived after we had been up there about 25 minutes, as we were packing up. The kiddos watched them take—what I imagine to be—Instagram pictures of each doing yoga poses super close to the edge. Only one gal had no interest in getting that close to the edge. I was with the one gal. It made me nervous.
Back down we went. The kiddos were refueled with energy after eating, and powered down the trail. Or maybe they were ready to head home? Either way, it was a nice decent and quicker than heading up. Baby did trip and fall going too fast down the trail, complete with a deep cut on her knee. There were tears and a bandage, but she’s a champ and didn’t mention it again until she told Brian when we got home. Saige did continue to stop and pose for pictures. Totally Saige. The trail traffic was picking up as we left; we passed about four other families moseying up to the ledge. It’s clearly a kiddo-friendly hike.
So on Tuesdays, we hike. Except today. It’s Tuesday. We’re in California visiting family, swimming all day instead of hiking. Next Tuesday, we hike. With Blaise. And Brian. I already have the hike selected…