Jason decided it was high time we went for a hike, since we’ve been saying we want to, the summer’s almost over, and our behinds still hadn’t made it up any mountains.
I use the past tense hadn’t instead of haven’t, because that is no longer the case. We hiked up to Annette Lake this last Saturday. The trail is located a few exits past North Bend and we’ve been there before snowshoeing, but only got a mile or so in.
I guess I just assumed we would be going on a light one or two hour trip since we have a 9 month old. But no, that is not what we did. We did a very strenuous uphill climb that took about 5 hours roundtrip. Praise the Lord the weather has cooled down. If it hadn’t, I would’ve turned around halfway through the hike and huffed and puffed down the mountain with that sweaty little body of Ian’s strapped to my back.
As it was, we still worked up quite the sweat, while also attempting to get eaten alive by biting flies and large mosquitoes. The funny thing is, just the night before we were sitting outside and Jason said “You know, we’ve got it made here in Seattle. Not many people can sit out on their deck at dusk and there not be bug in site to bother them.”
I am exaggerating about pretty much all of this so far. The bugs were only bad when we stopped and don’t worry, I didn’t get stung by the nest of bees I sat down by to breastfeed. The hike was strenuous, but it’s surprisingly more exhausting when you are whining and complaining that you are carrying the backpack which you are insisting is heavier than carrying the baby (and being right about it), while also holding a grudge against your husband for not forwarning you of a cliff climb and telling you it was fine to wear your running shoes instead of your sturdy, ankle-supportive hiking boots.
Anyway . . .
My humbling came in two parts.
The first time happened halfway up the mountain. We were stopped and I was trying to find a legitimate reason why we should turn around and go back. Awful but true, I have been known to shroud my selfish motivations with excuses like “I think Ian’s getting tired or hungry or he’s upset” when usually it’s me that’s tired, upset, hungry or just plain about to have an emotional breakdown.
While I was changing Ian’s diaper, a nice older lady and her husband caught up with us. She was friendly and went on about how she had never been on the trail but the picture of the lake in her guidebook made it look absolutely beautiful. Jason responded with something to the effect of “Well, we’re not sure if the little guy is going to last up to the top.”
The nice lady threw her hand back and said “Oh, he’ll be fine. We strapped our kids to our backs and hiked all over the place and they were happy as a clam. They don’t care.”
And she was right and I knew it. So we packed up and I prayed for an attitude adjustment.
The second part of my humbling came when we finally got to the top. The lady was right, the lake was beautiful and all that work was very much worth it. If I would’ve insisted we bail the three of us would’ve missed out on seeing an absolutely beautiful place. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all.
How many times do I do that, get bothered and quit? Too many times to mention. I don’t want to think about all the things I’ve missed out on.
BTW, Jason, being the nice person that he is, did not rub any of this in my face. Though I would’ve if I were him.
We sat on the shore (next to the nice lady) and had snacks and enjoyed the view. She was even was even kind enough to give me napkins to insert into a previously used wet diaper when Ian had a major poop and I didn’t have a clean diaper on hand to put on him.
The trek down the mountain was so much better having a full stomach, a better attitude and the hard work behind us. We stopped at a waterful that Ian got very excited about. He even dipped his little fingers in the freezing cold water and seemed to find it exhilarating.
Things got even better when we stopped at the DQ and had a large Blizzard of the Month (Girl Scout Thin Mint). Jason even allowed me to devour the first half before telling me to slow down so he could have some. What a nice husband I have.
You can see the rest of the photos here.