This weekend we headed up to the peninsula to enjoy some time with friends, visit Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park and enjoy the unusual sunshine.
We headed out early, but we missed our ferry. Since we had almost an hour to wait we decided to hit the beach and enjoy the Pie’s first experience with sand.
When our boat pulled in we loaded on, rode across the water and arrived on the other side. I was trying to conserve camera battery, as mine suddenly started flashing “warning! danger! low battery!” I missed some great shots, but enjoyed the moments.
We met our friends and took off across the peninsula and up the mountain roads to Hurricane Ridge. We got out of the car and met a lovely little ladybug. The deer were feeling rather social and the trails opened up for us. We hiked across snow, mud and dust. We found shade and had a picnic, smelled the wildflowers and found native onions. I love the gentle smell of those wild onions.
While we picnicked, we realized that it was getting late. 5pm lunch came too soon, and we realized that we would be fighting the worst of the summer ferry traffic coming home on a Sunday evening after a beautiful weekend. We headed back to the docks instead of the second trail. We had to wait as a ferry docked, unloaded, loaded and left. The next one came in and we were lucky to board. The short ride back to the mainland was enough for the Pie to learn to drive and to use navigational technology. I think from now on I’m going to buy touch-screen GPS systems as baby toys.
We spent the ferry commutes realizing how different life and travel and recreation is with baby. Our plans to drive to Alaska will have to wait until the Pie is a little older and able to handle the car ride a little better. Long-distance hiking doesn’t make a crawling baby very happy. Camping in the Northwest is complicated, since there’s no wide stretches of grass for babes to crawl. We realize now why so many families stay close to home when they have small kids. I swear everyone told me that babies love car rides, but not this Pie. She screams in frustration when in the car, and isn’t in love with riding in the pack anymore.
That’s not really what we had planned for – we had always intended to pack the little Pie into her carrier and go on with our hiking, biking, camping lives. We just hadn’t planned for that little Pie to have a preference of her own. We have to modify our expectations and our trips.
So we let the Pie crawl around off-trail, illegally. We let the Pie out of her seat to drive and navigate while we were on the ferry. We comforted and consoled while we drove.
Our next trip will have to be a little bit better planned, with plenty of breaks for crawling and cruising and nursing and snuggling. We’re not wiling to give up our days in nature, so we’ll have to figure out how to make them work a littler better for all of us.