Remember the post about Gooding Little City of Rocks? If not, you can refresh your memory here. So we were all geared up for a great backpacking trip over the 4th of July. We planned to head up to Stanley to watch the parade and the fireworks Thursday night, drive to the 4th of July Creek trail head that night and get a fresh start Friday morning and spend a few days hanging out at the lakes and relaxing.
Thursday we headed up to Hailey and stopped by the splash park they have there, called Jimmy's Garden.
Josie loved it and it was a nice break after the hour or so in the car. Then we hung out with a couple friends that afternoon and toured their new place. Thanks Don and Barb! After that we headed up to Stanley. We thought we would have plenty of time to see the parade, but being just 15 mins late and it was already over. Oh well, Josie was asleep anyway.
We parked up on the hill for the fireworks and walked down into town. Since every restaurant had a 1-2 hour wait we decided to stop by the quick mart and just grab a few snacks for dinner. Josie had a ball playing on the playground and found some new friends while waiting for the fireworks to start. I've never been so close to a formal firework show before and it was awesome! Great Work Stanley! We'll be back next year, maybe peddling our favorite foods!!?
Happy 7 months old Kate!
Glow bracelets are awesome!
Watching the fireworks through her "glasses"
Josie was so excited to get "hiking" the next morning she headed off to explore just after breakfast!
Say "Cheese" Josie and Sniff!
The whole crew, plus 3 crazy dogs!
We hiked a few miles up to 4th of July Lake from 4th of July Creek TH, ate lunch and quickly set up our tent to keep the girls from getting soaked in the rain storm.
It didn't last too long and we were on our way again soon. We decided to camp that night after reaching Washington Lake.
So we set up camp and hung out around our make believe campfire and drank hot chocolate while Josie serenaded us with her harmonica, song and dance. It was so cute!
She's pretty good at it too! She just picked it up and knew just what to do.
Kate's favorite thing to do!
We had been talking about bagging Castle Peak and soon realized that would not be happening on this trip with the girls. But since Josie heard us talking about it she kept saying her "castle" was going to come down the mountain in the morning, not really sure what she was talking about we brushed it off as silly toddler talk.
The next morning we were all packed up and ready to head out and she nearly had a mental breakdown, asking to go see her "castle". So we put our packs back down and crossed the little creek to go look for it. Josie kept saying, "It's over here more..." I soon found a rock that literally looked just like a castle and exclaimed, "There is it!" Josie was so excited! We all climbed up on it and played make-believe princesses and prince for a little while. The simple life of a 3 year old.
As part of my job as a dietitian I work for Healthy U, our employee wellness program. Our mascot is an owl who encourages an active, healthy lifestyle for employees.
So, we took Healthy Whoo all the way to the top with us!! Josie loved it, since she didn't get to bring any of her animals with.
Not sure how we missed taking a picture, but if you can't imagine how we get all the gear for 4 of us and 3 dogs and also managed to carry 2 little girls up the mountain, it's no easy feat. The dogs each have their own packs as seen here. They mostly carry dog food and other waterproofed items that don't get wet when they sit down in the lake to cool off. Ty's pack had nearly everything else, including our larger non-backpacking tent. I carried Kate (7 month old) on my front in our little infant carrier and Josie (3 years old) on my back in our hiker child carrier. Unfortunately we need to invest in more a comfortable toddler carrier that distributes the weight a lot better. Oh well! Maybe for Christmas?? Wink wink.
The way back down we traded packs and although I carried the heavier pack (60# or so) it was soooo much more comfortable than carrying both girls!
It was a lot of fun. We all had a wonderful time hiking and just playing together as a family. Not sure how but Josie got a small blister...I guess she did walk about 1/3 of the distance herself, but had on good shoes. Other than sore shoulders we had a blast.
After we got back to the truck, we drove down to Galena Lodge for lunch which was good, but not so great on the service. Oh well!
We also found a sweet little hot spring to relax in for a while that afternoon. Josie and Kate loved it! It was a little piece of heaven.
We stopped at Sun Valley Lodge for Ice Cream and a little toy store window shopping for Josie. Oddly enough we also saw Ty's sister and her family in Ketchum on our way back through, but by the time we got turned around to make sure it was really them, they were already gone and couldn't get through with the phones. Oh well! Maybe next time we can get together and the girls can play. They would love it.
Happy 4th of July (Creek)!! and to many more backpacking trips to come!
For those of you who are planning a backpacking trip with your little ones here a a few tips:
1. Just do it. I read a lot about people that wait until they kids are 8 or so to take then camping or hiking, because they think it will be too much work. I think this is sad. Do it while they are young and keep going back for more!! Even if it's mostly camping and a couple hundred yard hike, it will get them excited about being outside and active for the rest of their life.
2. Very Important: Be realistic about the kind of miles you can put on. When Josie was 9 months old we did a great 30+ mile trip in 2 1/2 days and did great. Of course she wasn't asking to get down and walk or get back up. As toddlers, consider that your pace will be more like 1-2 miles per hour or less! They will want to stop and look at every flower and bug on the trail, which can be fun and definitely a different perspective, but you will be frustrated if you planned to log several miles that day.
3. Make sure your child carrier packs are just as comfortable as your "real" packs and that they have a good waist weight-distribution belt, especially if the child is heavier. Again the pack (seen here) that we used 2 years ago for her was just right, but with 12-15 more pounds on her, it didn't hold up as well. Here are a few good ones: Wild Child by Wilderness Equiptment, Wallaby by Vaude, HappyTrails by MEC, and Kid Comfort III by Deuter and if you can find one Piggyback by REI.
4. Infants. On most of our trips our 7 month old and 9 month olds didn't want to eat solid foods at all during our trips. So we plan on a lot of formula and only 1 bottle to wash and reuse. This equals a lot of liquid waste. So instead of packing out a bunch of full, disposable diapers, we bring along 4 reusable diaper liners and 2 shells and a couple of disposables for overnight and if we can time the solid waste just right first thing in the morning! ;) That way we can rinse them out, lightly wash, wring and hang on the outside of our packs to dry. They save a ton of weight!!! Best Bottom Diapers are an excellent choice!
5. The right clothes. I had the girls in polyester PJs or footie PJs the whole time, which were great! Shorts and short sleeves for warm weather (which don't really stain when they sit in mud and dirt) and long sleeves and long pants for cool evenings and mornings. This way you don't have to pack a lot of additional shirts, shorts, pants, etc. I did also bring a poncho for rain, but we didn't use it. Hats, sunscreen and insect repellent are a must for everyone!
6. Extra Stuff. It may be easy to get carried away with your packing, but try your best to keep it light. There are a lot of things that they may use at home, but not need here while camping.
7. This one is just for fun! Click here for help with sleeping arrangements?
7. This one is just for fun! Click here for help with sleeping arrangements?
8. Have FUN!!!!