Sunday, April 22, 2018

A hike to end a "Supermom" kind of week

 This week has been very challenging for my family due to my stay at home husband being completely out of commission. I was proud of myself and of my girls for staying present to each other and changing our routine to do what was needed. I am also grateful for community and the way they supported us. After trying to work, support medical needs, and coordinate all the driving, childcare, and house needs I was very ready for challenging hike without kids. I took the International Student we host at Reed up to Wind Mountain.
 We enjoyed the early wildflowers on the way straight up a mountain with more than 1000 ft of gain in one mile. We combined this with a driving lesson which was its own adventure. It was good to have some kid free time to enjoy a climb.
 We had the high energy dog Oreo with us and she led the way.
 Annie may not have known what she got herself into when she agreed to a "steep" hike but she did an amazing job getting to the top!
 We quickly got up toward the top of treeline.
 Oreo enjoyed the adventure as well.
 Enjoying more wildflowers along the way.
 Native Americans used this site for vision quests- spending the night here. This is sacred ground.
 At the top we enjoyed views of the river below.
 We met the challenge together- great short conditioning hike!
 Enjoying the view
We headed back down to the car for more driving in busy Gresham near where Annie will test and then had some yummy Chinese food. It was a much needed afternoon to gain perspective and care for myself so that I can continue to be present to my family.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

To the Yurt- All terrain hiking fun!

Amy: We drove with Corrine to the upper snow park and our car got stuck but we pushed it out. At the upper snow park, I threw lots of snowballs at people and mom and I took our obligatory selfie with a snowball.
Amy: When I got really tired, I collapsed in the snow and mom stopped to let me have a breather break.
Mom: I was glad we were able to drive to the upper sno park to avoid the steep mile hike between upper and lower sno parks. It was snowy and beautiful.
Mom: We made our way slowly toward the Yurt- 3 miles up and two miles down. Corrine and I had been here once before but this was Amy's first time and Corrine's dad joined us.
Amy: Sometimes when we passed a tree, I would shake the branches so all the snow would fall off. It was fun.
Amy: Another time that I collapsed on that trip. Boy, that trip was tiring.
Mom: The wet snow continued to fall as we climbed higher toward the Yurt. We took lots of breaks.
+note of Amy's: my note (my forehead was covered by my hood and there was hair in my face)
Mom: It was cloudy and snowing but super fun and challenging to hike uphill toward the Yurt.
Mom: Taking a break and enjoying being on snowshoes.
Amy: I also collapsed at the prayer flags at the top of a hill.
Amy: It was so windy up there that we went on, even though we were VERY tired.
Amy: We hiked on through the snow.
Mom: We were so excited to see the prayer flags and then there was more down than up but still some climbing left to go.
Mom: The last of the climbing was really challenging because the snow was very wet and dragging the sled through the "Cascade concrete" was getting hard. Putting it on my back was just as bad or worse. Corrine helped me out with the sled at the end. Amy made it look easy! I was stopping to catch my breath very often. Amy's note: DIDN'T→     ↑    
Amy: The yurt in all it's glory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Exclamation party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom: More prayer flags at the yurt. We were glad to make it to our cozy destination!
Mom: National Park Jenga. Amy looks worried it will fall!
Mom: Eating delicious food in the decked out yurt.
Amy: We enjoyed the heat, games and beds.
Amy: We wrote a poem abut our trip:
Our car got stuck.
Someone showed up to our luck.
We hiked along
and sang a song.
We worked so hard
In Mt. Rainier's backyard.
We made it up the very LONG hill
To find the flags that are flying still.
The snow kept falling.
By the end we were stalling.
We got to the yurt in the end.
It was as inviting as a friend.
When we arrived there was no heat,
But we enjoyed an evening treat.
When we get back to the car
We'll have many memories from afar.

-Thank you Mt. Tahoma Trails!
Melody, mom, 40, Portland OR
Amy, 9, Portland OR
Amy: I ate an icicle the next day.
Mom: I love Mt. Tahoma trails so much! The yurt is absolutely magical!
Mom: Heading back the next day. The snow was pretty deep between the Yurt and Snow Bowl turnoff.
Mom: The mostly downhill 5 miles was much easier, the "Cascade concrete" snow acting as a break and keeping the runaway sled beside and behind me. We enjoyed walking together.
Mom: Following the ski tracks through the snowy trees back down toward the car.
Mom: What a beautiful spring break snowy adventure!
Mom: On the way back we started making a snowman but the snowball I tried to roll on top was so heavy that I collapsed into it and we decided it looked like one of the "snow goons" from Calvin and Hobbes.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Yurt Summit 2017: Very Wet, Very Sunny, Very Cold, Very Happy

 Last year March 2017, I headed out to the beach with 8 year old Amy, and two friends to join a Yurt Summit at Nehalem Bay State Park. Because we are adventurous and to save on costs, we decided to camp in tents. We drove on a Friday evening through the unrelenting cold rain to the coast. When we got to the camp we set up tent on the edges of the flooded campsite we had been assigned.
Three of us made it through the night semi dry. Amy's clothes got partially wet on the side of the tent. However, our fourth friend had a completely flooded tent. She ended up finding the community yurt and warming up around 2am.
Having made it through the very rainy night, the sun came out and we were able to enjoy the beach and the community at the yurt summit.
The kids and adults played a game where a group was blindfolded and followed the sound of a moving drummer through the sand as a mindfulness, sensory activity. I helped string a tarp up and the kids dug canals to drain the puddle in the fire pit which we were able to use later for a campfire.
Wearing my snow pants and jacket to stay warm and dry, I dipped my toes in the water and enjoyed the sunshine.
The spring sunshine on the beach was wonderful and warmed our spirits as well.
We enjoyed communal food and conversation and were very grateful for the offer of a yurt spot for those of us whose stuff had not dried out during the very wet night. My friend Corrine and I were able to dry tents out enough to enjoy a rather cold but clear night in our tents.
This was quite the car camping adventure, but we were glad for the time together.
Can't wait for some upcoming spring adventures. A word of wisdom- be prepared for a wet night if camping on the coast in late March in Oregon.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunny day hike with a spirited five year old

 Mom: I was so excited to see the first sunny spring day. Analise had asked to go with me but wanted a short hike. I chose Weldon Wagon Road on the Washington side of the gorge because I like that there is lots of sun exposure and it is a kid-friendly hike. Analise packed a backpack with water and sunglasses and was determined to hike. Analise is my spirited five year old with an autism diagnosis. She is very expressive and creative and also struggles with rigidity. Hiking is hard because it requires flexibility and tolerating discomfort. Anytime she has motivation to hike I get very excited.
 Analise: I loved walking up the trail. It was so fun! 🙏🙆😺😦💘😝💭💭💟💥😈😺😹😸😷💜💖💀💝💓🙌
 Mom: A friend joined us on this hike and I gave her a walki talki so that she could hike ahead if she wanted and one to Analise. This gave Analise something good to focus on. I promised to stop for lunch pretty early into the hike as well. We left the dog at home since she hikes at a much faster pace.
 Analise: I loved the little flowers! They were so pretty!🍛🍵🐁🐀🐈🐇🍼🎂🐱🐲🐵🐾🐠🐂🍏🍎🍐🍑🍒🍓🍔🍕🍕🍕🍕
 Mom: I loved seeing the long needled pines and coming out of the trees to views of the valley below.
 Mom: We had almost gotten to the lunch spot and Analise was doing great using the walki talki to distract from the challenge of walking uphill.
 Analise: I did not like mom taking pictures of me. 🎆🎅🎄🎃♡♥♦💒🏉🎴🎠🎦🃕🃍🂶🂴🃉🃏🃇🂹🀇🀈🀉🀄🀡⚾⚽🀪🂸🂵🃍🂸🂩🂳🂶🂩
 Mom: These old trees made me smile.
 Mom: Taking time to soak in the sun and enjoy the view of the scrub oaks and valley.
 Analise: Mom tried to take a selfie of me and her but it came out to be a big fail! ☎👑💉💮🕓🕘🕜🔧📵📬📘📙📗📍🔍📌📋📊📉📈📇📆📅📄📃💹
 Mom: We didn't make it quite far enough to see Mt. Hood but our friend did. Still a really nice view.
 Analise: I used the walki talki to sing loudly "Shot to the heart and you're to blame. You give love a bad name!" and also to check on our friend. 🌝🌞🌟🌠🔥🌜🌛🌚🌐🌑🌈🌂✨🌀🌏🌄🌕  analise
 Mom: More signs of spring!
 Analise: i won the race.💟👶👷💓😇😏😍🙀😿😾😾😽😼😻😺😹😸🙉🙊💧💢💤💃👹👸👭👬👰👯👮👐👏👪👫👍👌👋👊👉👈👇👆👅
 Mom: I took a short rest on the hillside in the sunshine since Analise claimed to be too tired to hike any further up the hill. She enjoyed playing with rocks and our friend hiked ahead to the viewpoint.
 Analise: I WAS 😎😍😌💭💬😧😡😱😰😤RUNNING😉😀👩👪👄👅👏👧👨💙💟💭👻😁💃👺😈😈😕😔😌
 Analise: Mom was trying to take a picture of me but I put my hand up and it made a big fail. 🚼🚻🛅🛄🚺🚰🚞🚋🚚🗼🏩🚢🚗🏮🚓🚘🚱🏯🚐🚋💈⛼⛻⛺⛹⛱⛶⛷analise
 Analise: I was climbing the hill in the sunshine to play. My hiking energy had run out. ⛰🚷🚓🚍🚕🚮🚹🛃🛂🛁🚽🛅🛄🚛🚑💈🚋🚹🚮🛂🏩🏨🏡🗽
 Mom: Sitting on the hillside while Analise played was lovely.
 Analise: I was running down the hill toward the car. 🚪🚽🚧⛱
 Mom: Heading back down toward the car, continuing to enjoy the sunshine and trees.
Mom: These needles are so long! I am grateful to have a patient friend to hike with and to have this time with Analise. She gave the hike a 10 out of 5 and said she really liked the pretty view. She gave herself an A+ and me a B-. It was a nice time together.