I married a guy who isn’t afraid to try anything. He’s an adventurer at heart, but we only recently started hiking. A combination of factors inspired us to take it up. Maybe the biggest was the desire to see our kids do something more difficult than clear the next level on a video game. We both want our kids to become hard-working, successful adults, but the modern world, full of comforts and conveniences, doesn’t do a lot promote and build those characteristics.
One night last year, my husband showed me pictures of his high school friend, Pam, her husband Jason (both writers) and two young sons hiking the John Muir Trail (more than 200 miles over a month) and suggested that we should do it too. Maybe not the whole 200 miles, but he looked at his schedule and figured out that he could take two weeks off in the summer. That would be enough time to do half of the trail.
To Phil, this was the answer. What better way could there be to teach our kids that they can accomplish anything? It took me some time to embrace his vision for our family. Hiking through miles and miles of wilderness with everything we need to survive strapped to our backs didn’t exactly sound like the most appealing way to spend a summer vacation. But somewhere deep inside, I could feel that he was right. These are the types of experiences that bring people closer together and make them stronger. And they don’t just happen. You have to make them happen.
Phil is persistent and he gets what he wants. He relentlessly researched and gathered the equipment, clothes, and food we will take with us (check out the links to some of our favorite stuff at the bottom of the post.) He is making this happen for us. With our big hike planned for the summer of 2015, he has scheduled several smaller hikes to get us ready.
The first big one to Havasupai Falls happened October 10, 2014. The 10 mile hike to the falls begins with steep switchbacks that drop you into the canyon, followed by miles of rocky terrain until finally you come to a rustic village and campground. It was hard. I’m not going to lie to you. We had to stop many times. We had to adjust our equipment. We were hot and tired and stinky at the end of the day, but I don’t think any of us were prepared for the reward that waited for us at the end of the hike. It was spectacular.
What hard things have you done that were well worth the reward? Share in the comments below so we can plan our next summer vacation.
Tent and Adult Backpacks: http://www.golite.com/Mens-Quest-65L-Pack-P46804.aspx
Kid Backpacks: http://www.ospreypacks.com/
Hiking Pants: http://www.kuhl.com/kuhl/womens/pants/