Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hiking with the Family

Lately I've been feeling like I haven't spent enough time getting the family outdoors this year. We've done plenty of playing in the back yard, but we hadn't gone hiking at all this year. Since I'd already decided to skip out on the Mt. Evans hill climb race, I decided that last Saturday was the perfect time to go for a hike.

We had such a fun time seeing Cumberland Falls in Kentucky that I thought another waterfall outing would be a good choice. The plan was to go out to Ouzel Falls in the Rocky Mountain National Park. While the falls would all be smaller than Cumberland, there would be three of them along the route, so we could make up in quantity what was lacking in size.

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Our picnic lunch was prepared the night before, including sandwiches, salad, carrots, apples, and some pretty good carob & chia cookies. So we were actually able to get out of the house by 8:30, which is pretty good for our family. But that's not exactly early-bird by hiker standards, so the parking situation at the Wild Basin trailhead wasn't ideal. We ended up having to park about a mile up the road from the trailhead and walk along a horse trail to get to the trail. At that point I knew that our plans would have to change a little bit, and Ouzel Falls was written out of the itinerary.

The kids did great for the first leg of the hike. My eldest was talking about how it was the most beautiful place in the world. My youngest walked most of the way before we put him in the backpack.

The kids hiking along the horse trail
When we got to the trailhead, we stopped for a snack of cookies and carrots. Then it was off to see Copeland Falls, about 0.3 miles up the trail.

Lower Copeland Falls
My daughter and me by Lower Copeland Falls
My daughter's enthusiasm was waning by that point, and it was obvious that we weren't going to make Calypso Falls either. So we sat down on the rock at the upper falls under the shade of a pine tree and ate our lunch.
C and F at Lower Copeland Falls
On the way back, my daughter's attitude had turned around as completely as had our path. She was exhausted and cursed every rock that caused her to stumble. But she stuck with it and made it back to the truck just fine. My son fell asleep in the backpack.
Nap time on the trail
They say that the most important part about any kind of outing with children is to remain patient and flexible. Nobody in my family is particularly known for the former virtue, but our ability to adjust our plans according to the situation allowed us to have a great time, all things considered.

1 comment:

  1. Ouzel Falls is a lovely hike but pretty ambitious for little feet (and some old, big feet as well). It looks as though it was a nice day altogether.