90 miles. 5-6 nights/6-7 days. Just me, my wee man, and the dog.
78lb pack: 15-20lbs heavier than goal weight. 22 lb child. Me: 136lbs.
Ambitious. Badass. I was ready – more than ready – mentally.
up to the trip I had pneumonia. While I recovered fully and was cleared
for the trip it stalled training a good few weeks.
Needless to say things did not go to plan. By 1.5 miles I was needing to stop, drop water weight, shift some things around, and change how I was carrying my son.
By mile 2.something I was replanting in my head my whole trip. I knew for day one I had to get to the river so I had a water source. But from there I could make base camp, hang out a day or two then continue with a shorter route, or even head back home – I just had to have water to make it the night.
Somewhere in there my son wanted to walk so I ditched my poles and his carrier and packed them up. It was actually easier for me to go slower and give him my hands to hold. He walked a good 2 miles of technical terrain with my help. I was so proud.
that’s his max. He can’t do more than that. He started walking like he
was drunk. He was so tired. I tried to carry him some more but realized I
really couldn’t do that anymore. I was somewhere between 3.5 and 4
miles in. Still 4-5 miles from camp by the river. There was NO WAY. I
made the hardest call I’ve ever made – for someone to come help me pack
back out because I couldn’t make it back to the car and I didn’t have
enough water to stay put.
I cried. I’ve never made that call.
I failed, was all I could think. Not the weather turned. Not my son wasn’t handling it. Me, I, I failed. Or so I thought.
It was the right decision. My man ran in and helped me pack out. Believe it or not this was our first real hike as a family! My man and I haven’t hiked together since one of our first dates! And you know what – it was awesome.
The ground fell out from underneath me at one point and I landed hard on one leg. I remember ahead of the trip people kept asking, well, what if she falls with her kid – well what if? Quite simply I land in whatever way necessary to protect my son. I’ve fallen 4 times with him at this point and he’s never touched the ground. Some call it Mother’s instinct but I call it practice (martial arts is the best way to learn how to fall safely!).
Anyways, I had literally spent all morning concocting alternative plans. Options that would be more doable, but in the end I just couldn’t. That just sucked.