OH MY GOODNESS!
Our FIRST Summit together: Moose Mountain
Our LONGEST hike so far together: 14km
Nolan is at his heaviest: 32-35lbs
Still on such a high from this adventure with my boy! I don’t even know where to start with this post, as I am just so – so happy!
SO! I don’t have any hiking friends, or when I started – I didn’t. The one who ended up really getting me into it last year and getting me out more, I met over Instagram. He sent me a message one day about how he thought what I was doing with my son outdoors was awesome and he wanted to adventure together – so we met up and our friendship started at that! As I started to get out more with this friend, I started to meet more people, through the Instagram, and even got more comfortable getting out on my own with Nolan. I started following a lot of people my friend followed, and over the last two years have met some pretty awesome – like minded people. One of those people, I had been following for a while and they ended up moving to New Zealand for a year and I never got the chance to meet them in person. We stayed in touch while they were gone and connected through Instagram and snapchat. I fell in love with their photos and adventures and knew when they came back – we had to adventure together. Now they are back and Moose Mountain happened to be that adventure!
I picked him up at 2:30pm and we headed west to highway 66 – to the Kananaskis! We probably started around 3:15-3:30pm and planned for 4-5 hours. There were not a lot of cars parked in the lot at this time, as I would think most people were on their way down by the time we got there. One couple seemed concerned that I was going to be carrying Nolan for that long, or we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, but we assured them – this was not our first hike. I also felt very comfortable with our company as I had been following him and chatting for over a year, and he knew my experience and offered to accompany Nolan and I.
I knew this was going to be a longer hike so I tried to run Nolan throughout the day and make sure he would be tired so he would be more comfortable on my back for the long hike. And I don’t mean I slave ran him, ha-ha, I just made sure to let him play A LOT and run around a lot before we got out. He is two, and my two year old wants to run, everywhere, and experience everything for himself. He still wants mami to carry him but just not as long any more. There was one point in the hike where I let him down to change his smelly butt, and then let him walk for a while. That was probably a half hour time lapse where, we didn’t make it very far because we were trying to get him out of puddles. You cannot hide a puddle from this kid! Eventually, we had to get him back on my back to keep moving forward as the hike started to get a bit steeper in some areas.
It was stunning. As we came out of the tree line, the tops just opened up and you could see everything around you. It was a gloomy-ish day and sprinkled on us a few times, and as we got out of the tree line – we caught a glimpse of a rainbow! I was on top of the mountains, and I saw a rainbow! – perfection! This hike was so neat, it wasn’t just along one mountain and up, it was more of a ridge walk, to a summit. I don’t know if that is accurate or not, but that’s how I would describe it. From the starting point – I looked at it, and was like holy shit we are going all the way over THERE?! ya right! With this chunker on my back? You’re crazy!
As we got higher and closer to the destination, we reached a sign where bikers were no longer able to continue and we ventured off into the rocks! I couldn’t believe it. I was exhausted but I was here and so close to the summit. It wasn’t an unstable scramble up or anything, and I didn’t feel scared or uncomfortable at all. I mean, I do have a fear of heights but I was aware of my surroundings and having someone walking in front of me helped a lot as well. We were so close, I remained calm and just pushed through to the top.
We rounded the corner and as we got up a little more, the fire look out came into site. Then the heli pad.
WE MADE IT!
I honestly could have cried and – probably would be lying if I said I didn’t have a tear in my eye. Something I wanted to share so badly with my son, I accomplished – right then and there. wow! I was so, so SO thankful for the company we had and couldn’t thank him enough for guiding us. I am so thankful!
We sat and had some snacks, took some photos and just took it all in. I was SO happy! Nolan seemed pretty excited, he was on top of a life time supply of rocks! ha-ha! His little feet had a bit of trouble navigating around the top but it sure was cute watching him be so cautious and careful trying to move around. Asking for help, asking for snacks, it was time to let him stretch out and move a bit before I put him back on for the way down.
Again, just so incredibly beautiful, such a happy moment, I felt and still feel so proud and accomplished.
While we were at the top eating, a group came up not to long after us, but they must have been trail runners as they passed us on the way down running. When we got to the bottom, we didn’t see them in the lot so I would assume they ran the whole way. That is so impressive to me, m ankles would not be suited for that! We made our way down, and Nolan was so irritable and wanted down SO badly, I felt pretty bad but we needed to get down further and on a better part of the trail before I would be comfortable taking him out again. By the time that happened, he had fallen asleep so we just kept moving along.
When we first started our hike, we went down a long hill for a while, which – at that point didn’t seem like a long hill and I was all for the challenge on the return as I was told that specific part made the return – brutal! Well, I should have believed what they said – as it was BRUTAL! I do NOT remember it being that long AT ALL! IT felt like I was never going to reach the parking lot and to top it off – Nolan woke up and was demanding my pole and shifting his body weight over to the side. I was so determined to just make it up that hill and tried to keep up my pace but I was just exhausted. We stopped a few times and drank some water but finally made it up and back to the jeep.
Nolan was absolutely thrilled for more snacks, and to be able to run around in the puddles in the parking lot while we just sat and relaxed for a few. He earned it for being such a trooper – snuggled onto my back for 14km!
Amazing, amazing adventure! I cant wait for another one with my boy and I cant wait for another one with our new friend 🙂
Till next time. .