Posts Tagged With: Mountains

Living Outside

Living outside with the kids for a week has been pretty epic. There is no “down time” when you live outside (and have a pretty intense phobia of bears coming into your tent like I do). While spending some time in Flagstaff we hiked Humphrey’s and little Tru rocked it! Little Man hiked just about 5 miles (its 10 in total) and napped on my back some as well. This guy can be stubborn (and super loud!) but really just wants to be one of the big kids. From the hike he ended up with BOTH his big toenails purple and a blister under one of them. This guy can be quite the trooper! Currently we are kicking it around Colorado and having some smaller adventures.  Soon we will head up some 14ers and see how tired we can make this Momma!

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Killing Time

After a summer of fun its always hard to get back into the swing of school, driving, rushing, homework, oh yeah, and that living inside thing. We are fully in the mix right now and *almost* there.

Tajh and Tea go to and awesome school and last years one drop off/pick up with pretty nice. This year Tay is going to the school of his dreams (seriously he is expected to climb trees and plays in the desert) which adds anything drive into the mix. Luckily his school is close to the big two. Unluckily the drop off is an hour apart (pick up is perfect for Littles to nap which is pretty nice) so creative we must become with our in-between time. Well… it hasn’t been too hard…

Running

Running

Running...

Running…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running...

Running…

Running...

Running…

and more running!

and more running!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are lucky and have multiple trail heads a short drive from Big 2’s school. Every day the 3 Little Littles and I drive somewhere and head out for a “run”.  Hats, water bottles, games, exploring, whatever it takes we “usually” get almost a mile in with some “upness” involved. Not only do with run,

We sword fight.

We sword fight.

Boulder.

Boulder.

 

Help little brothers learn to boulder.

Help little brothers learn to boulder.

 

Kick it.

Kick it.

Hydrate.

Hydrate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet new friends. Red tail hawk ( I believe) buddy loves doing fly overs.

Meet new friends. Red tail hawk ( I believe) buddy loves doing fly overs.

And spend time taking in the views.

And spend time taking in the views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When all the adults in your life run you learn really cool tricks.

"Look mom I'm pretending to eat a salted carmel GU!"

“Look mom I’m pretending to eat a salted carmel GU!”

Oh and you get caught with markers in your room at times. Its ok calmly explain how you were out for a run and got attacked by wolves. My can’t get made about all the “blood”…

 

At least they can pose.

At least they can pose.

So to some it up, we are exhausted! But having tons of fun..

 

It's a rough life running 4 days a week... better find someone sneaky to nap.

It’s a rough life running 4 days a week… better find somewhere sneaky to nap.

 

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Island Lake? Psh my 4-year-old can do that.

Did someone say epic? Oh yeah, that’s how we roll. A journey with 5 kids into the unknown? Yes please. Even better, let someone tell me there is “lots of snow up there” and apparently I decide it’s an even better idea. With +1 at the lead I strapped Tru on my back and headed to Island Lake.

Now we have done part of this journey before. Last year we drove to the parking lot at the end of South Mineral campground and headed up Ice Lake trail. To head to Island Lake you take a turn at some point, that’s all I knew. Last year I was in shape, this year I haven’t done anything in a nearly a month, I knew this was going to hurt, at least a little.

Now let’s remember, little Tenny is 4. I had NO clue how long this hike was going to be, but I knew from the start she was going to make it on her own 2 feet.

Off we go!

Off we go!

The first hour was a nice hike. Upness was there, but everyone was moving pretty well with Tenny moving at “4-year-old who randomly gets boosts of energy to catch her siblings” pace. River crossings were met with helping hands from siblings, and Tru took his first nap of the day. I’m pretty sure this kid only likes hiking for the naps!

First river crossing. They got larger!

First river crossing. They got larger!

See, larger.

See, larger.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I figured snack after an hour and then maybe another within the next half hour, they had other plans. These kids were hungry! So they ate and hiked and Little Miss Tenny got a second wind, even if it only lasted a little while.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Upness

Upness

"Mommy van!" -Tru

“Mommy van!” -Tru

Now about snow, I don’t like it. I am not a fan of being cold. So we hit some snow fields, and some more, and some sketchier ones. I spent a lot of time asking the kids to watch their feet and asking (re-asking) +1 if it was safe.

More snow.

More snow.

Snow

Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still snow.

Still snow, and Tenny!

Tenny does not like having cold and which did lead to some freak outs EVERY time she fell…which was a lot. Luckily +1 did help her through some of the extra crazy spots. And then we saw it:

 

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The amazing blue of the water could been seen through the ice layer, which the kids promptly began throwing rocks at. What kid doesn’t want to watch ice break? We had lunch, threw more rocks, and laid our shoes and socks out to dry. And then got attacked by marmots-

 

I can confidently say the best playground for children is a giant frozen lake over 12,000 feet in the sky. The only way to live.

 

Ice Breaking.

Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock throwing,

Rock throwing,

Time to leave.

The snow fields on the way drown were beyond sketchy. Sadly my phone died (then came back to life further down the mountain) so I wasn’t able to get any of the epic shots on +1 skiing on his feet down crazy snow fields at 12,000 feet or my Littles getting cold butts as they sledding (sans sled) down. We will have to head back and make it happen.

Drinking from waterfalls "best water ever!"

Drinking from waterfalls “best water ever!”

"Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls" Good plan kids... good plan.

“Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls” Good plan kids… good plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenny napped on my back (girl deserved the break!) , Tru on +1’s (so thankful to have another adult for this trek) and we all made is safely back down. In case you are keeping track, My 4-YEAR-OLD hiked for 3 1/2 hours over 4 miles up with nearly 3,000 elevation gain. Yup, she is bad ass. All in all it was nearly an 8 hour day and so worth it! If only for the marmot eating Tay’s pee off the ground story…

 

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

and some others.

and some others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let me say, my Little people who have been fighting and struggling to be friends the last few months were AMAZING the entire 8 hours. Helpful to one another and kinder then I could ever ask for. Thank you nature!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a "shit" under my breath I'm met with "ok mommy?". Love him!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a “shit” under my breath I’m met with “ok mommy?”. Love him!

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Silverton!

It’s Silverton time baby! Headed up a little late Friday with all the Little People. Van pack full of food, breakfast in their snack bins, and no real plan in mind. Decided to keep it simple this trip and not think too much, if you know me, that’s a clear lie.

I will say my planning sucked for this trip. Nearly everything I have for the kids I have bought myself in the last 6 months. I like matching shirts (so I can find them easier if they are lost), comfy clothes, basically whatever it takes to keep things as simple as possible. Yet, I found myself with nothing, and a whole lot of shopping to do. With drama always on my door step, getting out of town took longer then I wanted.

So we drove, FINALLY, the 6 of us. We stopped when we wanted, snacked when we wanted. Other then a little more whinning then I would have like, it went well! And then they saw Silverton:

 

Obviously they are a little odd… but I kinda like how Tay calls marrying the same gender “flavor”. He is well on his way to a comedy career.. or incarceration… a Mother can never be too sure!

 

They talked about how much they love small towns and they ran around on the playground and all came back out of breathe! Oh, a Hardrock loving Mothers dream. They were all so happy to be “home”.

We headed off in the mountains to sleep. It was too late for me to care to put up a tent, van it was. Tru laid on me for a while and was nice enough to inform me “no poop Mommy, no poop”. Thanks Buddy, glad you don’t plan on pooping on me tonight. Everyone found their “spot” and sleep came. The morning was my favorite:

 

On to the fun adventures! I have some exciting plans for my out-of-shape little ultra runners! Stay tuned!

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mount Massive

Mount Massive is huge! Well the landmass under it that is. Mt. Massive is the third highest mountain in the lower 48 (behind nearby Elbert and Mt. Whitney in California), though it is the second largest mountain in North America behind only Denali, in Alaska, nearly 6,000’ higher. We rolled into Leadville and needed to decide our plan of attack. We only had one day and it came down to Massive or Elbert. Although Elbert is higher (by a couple feet) Massive seemed to be calling. As we looked at our possible routes, the trailheads were only about 2 ½ miles apart, I wanted to go up one side, down the other, and have Seth run and grab the van when we were done so we would get to see both sides of the mountain. Perfect!

We decided to take the shorter route up, just four miles but all the climbing in it, sounds like a good plan right? The drive from the lower trailhead was a little crazy but luckily we drive a super van. We got up to the trailhead in the afternoon, made dinner while the little people played in the creek, and went to bed in the van.

 

Sometimes you cook for 7 people on a JetBoil, no big deal.

Sometimes you cook for 7 people on a JetBoil, no big deal.

 

For some reason we usually are late starting up the mountain. This is aside from once when I made banana bread the night before Redcloud. I believe we started up around 9, Tenny on my back, Tru on Seth’s, and a pack on both of our fronts. The beginning of the hike was super pretty in the trees but quickly we were exposed on a boulder field, and for me things became interesting. The big three were far out in front and Seth and I kept having to ask them to wait for us to keep up. Here’s the secret: THEY WERE PLAYING! They had just spent a ton of time with an awesome new family/ little friend in Silverton. She loves horses and she really sparked our kids’ interest in them. They all began reading and learning as much as they could about horses, to the point that the entire way up and down Massive they were “riding” their horses. Let me tell you, this was the best motivator ever for Tay. Usually he bonks 1-1 ½ hours in. That was not the case this time! They were all in front the entire way, and although that was amazing, it was also frustrating for me.

IMG_1158

A ride on Momma's back! She ended up loosing that Buff... my favorite one.. book!

A ride on Momma’s back! She ended up loosing that Buff… my favorite one.. book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This intense climb with a pack and a 30lb toddler on my back, plus the added pressure of my oldest three killing me on the climb, was stressful for me. About half way up Tenny was in my ear asking repeatedly when she could walk. I finally said “now” and put her on the ground. I secretly thought she would be tired in 10 minutes and back on my back for a nap and I would have won. I mean, we are climbing over rocks, what three year old can last?! Apparently mine when she wants to spite me! She marched on and we lost Seth and the big three… ummm… where are we?

Fast people!

Fast people!

The "Slow Ladies"

The “Slow Ladies”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used my poles to help direct her to the next boulder and to help make sure she didn’t fall, but at a couple of points I lost the trail. With no Seth in sight we ladies were on our own. To be honest, I didn’t trust myself to find the way. At one point a marmot sat in our way on the trail refusing to move. We stood back staring at it hoping it would scurry away but it wasn’t willing! I threw a rock in its direction and it stayed. Tenny asked “does it want to bite us Mommy?” I think it did! I threw another rock and off it went. Thank goodness! They also have white marmots up there which Tenny thought was pretty amazing.

A friend!

A friend!

Not a friend...

Not a friend…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a while Tenny and I turned a corner to see all the big ones plus Tru sitting on the trail, alone. Ummm??? Apparently Seth had headed up to try and see if the weather was going to turn. The weather on 14’ers can change quickly and be really dangerous. It was starting to look a little gloomy but being that we were on the west side we could not see the weather coming from the east. We all sat and had a little snack until Seth came down and informed up he thought we could make it. Perfect! Onward and upward!

The crazy gang!

The crazy gang!

 

 

Along the way we saw a mountain goat, which was pretty awesome for everyone. We all happily trudged along eventually hitting the summit for some awesome views! Little Tenny had just hiked almost 2,000 vertical feet and as she said “Mommy this is real rock climbing!” This little girl is amazing! We only spend a few minutes on the summit since the weather far to the North of us was looking a little crazy and the lightning off in the distance did not make me feel too stellar. Hiking down was harder for Tenny, but we made it down to the trail to the lower summit with her tripping the entire way. I could tell she was tired so I put her back on my back (with her pleading to stay on the ground) and within minutes she was asleep. Rough life.

 

All those fast people ahead of us!

All those fast people ahead of us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boys on the summit!

Boys on the summit!

 

Girls on the summit!

Girls on the summit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The way down the children continued to play happily and Seth and I tried to keep the pace up, afraid of it becoming dark and of the weather turning on us.  Tenny woke up and got back off my back to “run 50 miles”. The trail on this side is pretty tame so I didn’t mind too much but we had to encourage her to keep up. Eventually we ran into my +1 (stalker!) and he joined us for the rest of the way down. At some point +1, Tenny, and I were pretty far behind and I had a mommy intuition to throw her on my back, which she again did not agree with. We picked up the pace and right as we hit the trailhead it began to hail, hard. My +1 drives a truck so there was no way to send everyone with him. I told Seth to take the babies and he, the babies, and my +1 went flying up the crazy road to the van.

IMG_1172 photo-44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading down

Heading down

The big three and I were in pain. They hail was unrelenting and we ended up taking shelter under a short tree which didn’t help much (there was no lightning and the tree was the smallest in the forest, don’t judge!). Somehow Tay’s The North Face shell did not make it into his Camelbak before we started, so he was wearing my not-so-amazing jacket and I was wearing fleece. It was cold! Eventually the hail stopped and it was just rain so we stood in the middle of the parking lot waiting huddled together. This is where our talk about marriage came up (      ).

 

My +1 literally came flying down the road and I stripped the kids of jackets and threw them in his truck. It took Seth longer since he had to put the babies in their seats, so they waited for him somewhere a little warmer. Once he came, we got them all down to their underwear and in their seats in the van. No hypothermia here! Of course a short drive down the road the rain stopped and the sky was blue again. Got to keep it interesting for us!

Suckers for an awesome view! Somewhere near the top, always worth it!

Suckers for an awesome view! Somewhere near the top, always worth it!

 

What we learned:

-To be thankful for +1 showing up and the hailing waiting for us to get off the mountain

-Double check the kids’ shell is always in their Camelbak

-The babies do not like hail, at all

-Mount Massive has beautiful views!

-We eat a lot of nutrition/snacks when climbing 14’ers

 

Why we hike 14ers.

Why we hike 14ers.

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Redcloud

We made it into Silverton on Tuesday evening. We came in late, so it was already dark by the time we got into Town. We decided that it would be easier to sleep in the van since most of the kids were already asleep anyway and the idea of setting up camp in the dark did not appeal to either of us.

We spent the morning at a coffee shopping updating our last blog and allowing the children to explore the town. One thing I truly love is allowing our children to be a little more “free”.  They shared conversations with people, looked in window shops, and we wrote and somewhat “got our shit together”. It was decided at that point they we needed to go big, so why not head out to Lake City. We drove the four hours and set up camp with two options for the next morning, Redcloud and Sunshine peaks, or Handies, Sabrina’s arch nemesis.

Feral Children!

Feral Children!

Redcloud was our first 14’er that we decided to tackle. The trail to the peak was about 3.5 miles and then went on another mile and a half to Sunshine Peak, an adjacent barely 14’er (14,001’). We hike about two miles in starting from our camp at the Grizzly Gulch/Silver Creek Trailhead. As we rose above the tree line, we came into an absolutely surreal basin that led us up to a saddle where the climb became truly challenging (both steep and challenging terrain). This last mile had us climbing 1,500’ to the summit over loose rocks and sheer drop-offs into the basin on the opposing side of the saddle that we had climbed. Each with a 30lb kid on our backs and three littles on their feet, this was nerve racking to say the least.

IMG_2396

Our home for a couple nights.

Our home for a couple nights.

This guy looks ready to hike!

This guy looks ready to hike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

–A digression from Sabrina- I HATE hills. It’s bad. Like when I am running the smallest little “hill” (speed-bump) gives me the excuse to walk. Yup… I’m a giant girl… Even worse though is my absolute fear of any and all downward slopes. All that comes into my head whether is be at a baseball stadium in the upper level, a concert, silly little hill, roof top, is me slipping and rolling down. Obviously, I knew these mountains that we were going to tackle would have both of these two dreaded things, but I knew I had to tackle them. So… I cried… a lot. About 500 feet from the summit I just lost it. There was a switch back that literally came to the sheer edge of the cliff and all I could think about was myself, Seth, or one of the kids on the way down loosing footing and slipping off the edge.

Anxiety attack at 13,500 feet. Clearly Tenny wasn't bothered by my breakdown! Nice shot by Seth!

Anxiety attack at 13,500 feet. Clearly Tenny wasn’t bothered by my breakdown! Nice shot by Seth!

I could not get myself together for a good couple of minutes. Eventually Seth came down, and I waved him off, stood up, and kept on trucking. I find that even though my children see me at the depths of a panic attack, they also see me stand up, face the fear, and keep moving. I feel like I show them fear is something you push through, not something you sit in. Although on the inside I may have still been a giant girl!

Boys at the summit! Tru couldn't be bothered to wake up for the event.

Boys at the summit! Tru couldn’t be bothered to wake up for the event.

Girls at the summit! I stopped crying (almost) for the picture!

Girls at the summit! I stopped crying (almost) for the picture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hit the summit around 12:45pm. There was a brief discussion about heading on to Sunrise Peak, however, storm clouds approaching from the West quickly settled that. The hike down was nerve racking for many. The grade along with the slippery terrain was a bit much at times. While making our descent some small snowflakes graced us with their presence which was a welcomes surprise for all.

Scary clouds!

Scary clouds!

As with all our descents the moral was lifted. The kids were happily spotting marmots and enjoying playful conversation with each other.  It’s amazing what children share with you 5 hours in at 12,000 feet!

Break Time!

Break Time!

Happy kids!

Happy kids!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons learned from Redcloud-

-Sabrina will cry at 13,500 feet, probably every time

-Tay will bonk an hour in to every hike, plan accordingly

– All the children really want to do is play in the snow patches

– The children do not like dates in Sabrina’s camping banana bread

Yum! Well not the dates apparently...

Yum! Well not the dates apparently…

Nutrition-

-8 bean/tortilla rollups

-2 packages Clif Black Cherry shot blocks

-3 White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif Crunch Bars

-2 Squeeze packs of apple sauce

-2 Chocolate Chip Clif Bars

-5 Strawberry Clif Twisted Fruit bars

-1 Strawberry Stinger Waffle

-1 Peanut Butter Cookie Lara Bar

Categories: Our Homeless Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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