Monday, January 19, 2009


For some reason carrying a 30 pound child on my back through the snow exhausts me. It reminds me of the good ole days when I backpacked. Back then my pack didn't stink so much, because there were no dirty diapers nestled cozily next to the granola bars. (Next time I offer you a granola bar, beware)

Mike had today off, so after Joyschool (which I would have skipped, but I was in charge), we headed off to Snowbasin to show Mike the Yurt.

Right now, I'm going to wax ecstatic about Joyschool. I love it. I love it. I love it. Today we talked about Goals, which they might have got some of it, but we also danced, ate granola bars (the non-contaminated kind), and jumped on paper plates across the room to the couch. We also played with origami frogs. Oh yeah. When was the last time you folded up one of those little hoppers? They rock.

Anyway, back to the yurt hike. Kenzie has been excited to show Mike the Yurt since we went on Wed. with my friend. She was also excited to show him the tree stump she went potty on last time we were up there. Ahh, the joys of childhood. She was slightly disappointed that Tracey wasn't coming along. Tracey is fun and more patient than we are.

The hike went well. Mike carried Kenzie, all of our water, supplies for hot chocolate, and survival gear (in case we got mauled by a cougar or stranded for days just outside the luxurious Snowbasin lodge). I carried Hannah and fruit snacks.

The snow was super packed down (i.e. snow shoes not necessary, but still adding to our "we're rough and rugged" look), and we met a few people on the trail. One guy passed us as we stopped to make sure Hannah's beloved puppy was wrapped in her mittened hands, only to be surprised when we caught him at a junction later in the trail. Apparently he took the long route (or so he said. I'm pretty sure we're just super fast hikers. Being motivated by whining and marching songs helps).

It took us about 40 minutes to hike in and it was a nice day. Mike was in a short sleeve and I was sweating away in my fleece. We managed to forget Hannah's coat, but Kenzie's is a two-piece (unlike a bikini this implies more warmth, not less), so we unzipped it and they shared.

At the Yurt we made a fire, found a new potty spot for Kenzie (someone had peed all over our other spot. The nerve.), and the girls played happily in the "house". The whole way to the Yurt Hannah kept saying excitedly, "House! House!" "That's right," I would say, "We'll get there soon." And then she would order me to tell her she looked cute.

Mike singed his eyebrows and eyelashes getting a fire started in the stove (the wood wasn't very dry), and then we drank lukewarm hot chocolate and ate oranges. We managed to placate the girls all the way out, and keep them warm in the shadows of the setting sun by wrapping my scarf around Kenz, and my shell around Hannah. When the trail headed downward, Mike and I ran, crashing into each other, making the girls laugh hysterically.

I also played "motorboat" with Hannah until I wheezed out a new version of the rhyme, "Motorboat, motorboat go so slow. Motorboat, motorboat, go so slower. Motorboat, motorboat stop and rest while you gasp for air." I think that should become a new classic.

Since children I've had to change my idea of a good hike. A mile and a half is a great distance. The sound of silence is meant to be broken with quacking noises and songs (or crying and whining). Treat breaks are mandatory. Camelback nozzles are meant for chewing and should be bought by the dozens.

Sometimes though, I still catch a glimpse of what I love about hiking. The scent of the pine trees, a quiet moment where I can hear my shoes crunch. The feel of doing something not too many people are doing. And when it's over, when I ask Kenzie what her favorite part of the hike was, she says, sweeping her hand in a grand motion, "All of it."

(No pictures because a 30 pd child was on my back, and my camera just felt too heavy to bring along.)


Kristina P. said...

Hearing you talk about it sounds fun. And then I return to reality and realize that I would hate every minute of my life, hiking in the snow.

Marcie said...

I love that you carried,"the fruit snacks." No really you guys are awesome, I hate the snow and I hate hiking even more. Is there a tiny dirt road that leads to the yurp? If so i'm totally going!

Hollie said...

I'm totally laughing. Mostly because Marcie called it a yurp. But also because your writting is clever and engaging.

kristi lou said...

I have to agree with you and your feelings about Joy School. I love it! (I mean, how can you not love people who sound like Elvis singing "Here comes Gunnny Bag..."

The Girardo Family said...

That was a funny story. I love to read your entries. Thanks for the laughs. And I have really thought about making a sleepsack for me. I am the type that has two huge warm blankets on at night and David sweats in one thin one. So a sleepsack would be awesome.

Lisa Kearl said...

Oh boy, reading that brought back memories of freezing my butt off in a snow cave. That must of been Mike's crazy idea. Although I probably won't ever do it again, I'm glad we did it with you guys. I really admire you for going hiking in the snow, especially with kids.