Kids Hike 6.6km, Dad says “Wow.”

I took the kids hiking on the North Shore yesterday. As part of my plans to get them into hiking and backpacking, I had both of them carry daypacks and I carried my pack with a stove and hot chocolate ready for brewing.

We drove to the top of Londsdale and over to St. Mary street for the start of the hike. Initially I thought we would do 1 or 2km. We started off along a trail that would take us to the Baden-Powell. The kids were kicking it and I hardly had to slow my pace down. Eventually we met up with the BP. I put down some plastic to sit on, got out the stove, and started heating some water. The kids climbed up another path that looked like a mtb downhill trail. After some hot chocolate, Grady wanted to do some more hiking before heading back so we headed east for bit. After another 15min I got us turned around. Instead of following our original tracks, we headed further west. The plan was to check out a viewpoint that is near another trail that would take us back to our starting point. Some other hikers said the viewpoint was about 5min away, which I assumed would take us maybe 10 or 15min.
On the trail

The viewpoint turned out to be more like 30min. There was some snow which made the going a bit slow because Emma’s shoes were pretty slippery. To make things a bit more difficult, we couldn’t find the trail that headed to the starting point. I think it was cleverly hidden under snow. We kept heading west though because we were told we would hit the powerline in another 5min (yeah, right). Emma started getting a bit tired but Grady was showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, I couldn’t shut him up, he was having a blast.

After a while I put together where we were going to kick out of the woods, and realized that we were going to have to hoof it another km or two on the streets to get back to the car. The kids were still happy even though I was getting worried about them getting worn down. Eventually Emma May’s wheels started to fall off and I carried her. Along the way we met a really nice guy that offered to drive us back to our car, what an awesome piece of luck that was! I carried Emma for maybe 1km. Grady didn’t slow at all, nor did he stop talking – it was great to see.

Once we got back to our saviour’s car, Grady passed out within 30 seconds. Emma was fine though, and when we got back to our van Grady was recharged and ready to keep talking. So he diid.

After it was all said and done, we had hiked 6.6km in a time of 2hrs 40min. I can’t believe how well the kids did. Grady was fast and happy the whole way. And while Emma needed a bit of help near the end, she did an incredible job considering her age and the tough go through the snow.

There’s no doubt in my mind that we have a few more hiking trips in our legs for 2009. I don’t think I’ve seen Grady this enthused about an activity before. He’s planning on taking some photos of his hiking trip to school when it’s his next turn for show and tell. Both kids have already said they want to go hiking again.