Monday, July 20, 2009

season's first kayak trip & hiking the Highline Trail

Two weekends ago, Jason, Zoralee, and I got away for a one night camping trip in Glacier Park. We finally left our house mid-day on Friday, and by the time we found a campsight and got ourselves situated, we were all three pooped. Activity One was a giant family nap. Hard core, aren't we? I started fearing that what people told us about "everything changing once you have children" just might have an element of truth to it. Aaaack. La la la la la [plugging ears].

When we woke up refreshed, we were ready to wet down the kayak in Lake McDonald. Jason strapped Zoralee onto his back in the ergo carrier, and we hauled the kayak through the campground to the lake. We had to stop about fifty times for me to switch hands. Hefty thing, that.

Zoralee was NOT a fan of her nifty, shiny, new infant life jacket.

In fact, we eventually abandoned it because it doesn't fit well at all. It squeezes her head really badly, so we need to find a different style. I wore my lifevest and had her in the ergo-carrier on my front. If that's illegal, then I'm just kidding. Jason did all the rowing and a little fishing. Zoralee wriggled around and eventually fell asleep. I watched the water and sky in motion against the stillness of the mountains. (I love beauty, Jason loves practicality, and Zoralee loved escaping from the life jacket trauma enough to sleep.)
a couple of Jason's shots:We all know that food is one of the best parts of camping. Somehow I totally failed this trip. I skimped on meal-quality food but brought dark chocolate in several forms, including but not limited to hot chocolate, chocolate cookies, truffles, and Snickers bars. Once we figured this out, we were already in our campsight and set up. I must've been smoking crack walking through the grocery store earlier that day. Well, appropriately enough, here we are drinking hot chocolate beside the campfire (and Zoralee getting her first taste).

shots of setting up for a timed photo absolutely crack me up

* * *

The next day was my re-introduction to the act of a whole day hike, after a year and a half of abstaining due to pregnancy and infant owning. It was 11.6 miles from Logan Pass (the top of the road system through the Park) to The Loop through frickin' fantastic country. You lose roughly 2,000 feet of elevation, so there's overall more downhill than up. There is a rustic chalet about 7.5 miles in, where we stopped for an hour long break. Otherwise, we stopped briefly to snack, to give Zoralee pottytunities or change her diaper, and to fix my broken shoelace. Not counting breaks, it took us about 5 hours. We saw mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, marmots, ground squirrels, bugs, bees, birds, and a bazillion wild flowers. It was gorgeous.

Zoralee looked and looked all around, and when she got bored of the beauty, fell asleep. She preferred to be on my back rather than on Jason, so part way through we switched it up; he carried his pack on his back and mine on his front so that I could just carry Z. I nursed her and gave her pottytunities along the trail whenever she got fussy. She got a lot of attention from other hikers in her white sun bonnet. In a lot of spots, the trail wasn't wide enough for traffic to walk both directions, so people would let us pass or vice versa, and when we'd passed each other, they'd see Zoralee and get really startled. "Oh my heavens! There's a little one back there!" That was fun. We should've acted surprised too and started swatting at her like she was a giant insect. Next time.

I feel pretty out of shape for endurance walking, but man, the scenery was out of this world. One of those paradoxical experiences where you're wondering why in tarnation you like to do this activity but then two minutes later are living that Rocky Mountain high old John Denver sang about and can't imagine being elsewhere. (Unless it's at a Mexican restaurant. Hiking always makes me crave Mexican.)

at the Chalet


Shana said...

oh my goodness, Lori...the photos are gorgeous!!! makes me miss home sooo much...

Christi said...

Timer photo #2 is cracking me up, you sitting there all casual with your legs crossed like you've been there for hours.

I am amazed at how much your life has stayed the same with Z because of the cool things you are choosing to do. It's inspiring.

Rachel Clear said...

Sister. Several comments come to mind, so I will post them here, in no particular order.

First, I thing you deserve a round of high-fives because for MOST people, things DO change big time when they have kids, but you guys still do all the crazy shizzle you did before (maybe less of it, but you still do it). I mean, didn't Zoralee go for a walk in the meadow when she was 1 day old? High-fives! High-fives! High-fives!

Secondly, I love that you take her all these places. It's funny to think that she's already had some experiences that many adults never get to have (or never take advantage of). I hope she remembers them, even in little bits and pieces.

Thirdly, as happy as I am that little Zor gets to go kayaking and what-not, I must say that the thought rings in my head, and the thought is, "Uh... I really want to see Zoralee again, so please place her in a plastic floating bubble next time you go!"

Fourthenly, I love the timer photos too, how Jason is all casual and you're all running frantically.

Fifthish, crap, by now I've forgotten what else I insanely love about this.

All the photos are great, sis, really great.

Good for you for hiking 12 freaking miles. You are my hero, even though it makes me feel ashamed for being lazy and chubby, with no excuse! :)

I love you lots.

Rachel Clear said...

Oh yeah! Now I remember.

The little picture of Zoralee's silhouette looking out the window into the scenery. Classic. I love that one!

Rena said...

I love these pictures and your story. I'll add to what Rachel said....sixthenly, WHY DIDN'T YOU TAKE ME??? It looks like SO much fun, and I would have brought food! And made sure Z didn't roll down the mountain.