So while there is definitely more of a concern for safety and it is more time consuming, we try to balance those with the rewards of being outdoors, exercising and spending time with our kids (three girls ages 5, 3, and 6 months).
Last week we celebrated MLK day by heading up to the yurt at a local ski resort, Snowbasin. We figured the girls could mostly handle the one mile hike and we were told by a friend that we wouldn't need snowshoes. We brought our snowshoes just in case because we were bringing my parents along too and I thought it might be nice for my dad to have some.
There's a couple ways to hike to the Yurt, and with our kiddos we decided the best way was up the old unplowed Snowbasin road. We arrived at the road's start at about 11:00, and saw our ward's scout troop was heading the same way. We swathed the kids in their snow clothes, saying, "Sorry, you'll just have to hold it," to Hannah, strapped Ellie in the Snugli (note to self: Snugli is not a good hiking accesory) and headed out. As soon as we started we were postholing, just to the top of our ankles, but annoying enough to want snowshoes.
The kids were light enough that they stayed on top of the snow for the most part, and we had brought along a sled to pull them in as well but I ran back to the van (oh yeah, that's a great, tough outdoor vehicle) and grabbed the two pair of snowshoes we did have. We made my dad wear one pair (arthritis makes it hard for him to move fluidly) and I took the other pair on my mom's insistence.
With kids, you spend most of the hike thinking of ways to entertain them/shush their fears: "Yes Hannah, we're in the forest." "Yes Hannah, animals live in the forest." "No Hannah, the animals will not eat us or hurt us, as long as we leave them alone." Or how about a rousing game of find a stick? Or the game of see how many steps it takes to get to that tree.
Kenzie hiked well, not complaining much and singing and playing games with her Grandpa. Hannah made it about 100 feet before she wanted to ride in the sled. Ellie (the baby) slept almost the whole way.
It probably took us about an hour to traverse the mile to the yurt. (A new record! One mile in one hour!) But the girls made it with minimal whining and only a couple of "Are we there yets?" Once there we warmed up, ate our lunch, and the scouts shared some hot chocolate with us inside the yurt. Then we headed back. Ellie was fussing a little by this time, so I double-timed it while Mike and my parents stayed back with the girls. Mike piled them into the sled and pulled them back. (Not my parents, just the girls :)
I only beat Mike and the girls by about 5 minutes, it took my parents a little longer. While I fed Ellie, the girls played king of the mountain on the piles of snow in the parking lot.
Kenzie's favorite part, "Across the river." (A stream we had to step over to get to the yurt). "And I threw a big snowball at Daddy." Hannah's favorite part, "Being pulled in the sled." Definitely the makings of two little mountain goats.
Hannah and Mom and Dad during a short time she decided to walk.
Kenzie found a walking stick!
Cute Kenzie hiked quite a bit.
Mike and Ellie
Grandma pulling the girls in the sled
Their faces got a little cold. Hannah buried hers completely in her scarf and hat and yelled at us if we tried to peek at her.
Look at this cool sled that our neighbor had made for her handicapped grandson. It is awesome! She let the girls test it a little while we were at the yurt.
Earlier this year we went snowshoeing with some friends. Michelle wrote up our adventure just perfectly.
We hope to get out and snowshoe a couple more times this season and we're planning for one more time skiing with the girls and one more time without them.