Mr Loco and I had a love for being outdoors. He spent his summers as a teen at camp in Vermont. I think that cemented his love of hiking, canoeing and all things outdoors. I spent my sixth grade year at an environmental school hiking, camping, skiing and spending loads of time in the woods. This was something we quickly bonded over and chatted about creating those same types of experiences with Baby Loco. We started hiking with her when she was around 2 1/2 months old. Mr Loco had actually just started putting a little money away each pay period to send Baby Loco to the same camp he went to if she was interested.
We hiked together on several trips and joined a hiking group that was very active. I have all sorts of hiking stories to share with Baby Loco. The few that pop into mind while I am typing this post include my first hike up a local mountain. We made it to the top and I was proud of myself and enjoying the view. We were trying to snap aselfie of our successful trek. I turn and see another couple doing the same thing only the girl had perfect makeup and was not sweating at all. I turned to Mr Loco and said “Please tell me how she did the same hike we just did and is not sweating?” Mr Loco quipped back “Oh you can drive up here. You don’t have to hike.” Apparently, my face was priceless. I of course would have still wanted to hike. There is challenge in that. There is some feeling of accomplishment. I guess I just need to know that driving up is an option! We also hiked with Baby Loco on her very first Christmas morning. We hiking with the group we joined and then had a potluck brunch with them. It was an amazing way to spend Christmas morning.
We went hiking with my brother and sister-in-law in Canada. It is a favorite hiking spot because there are so many beautiful trails. That trip was full of us just being in so much love- watching sunsets, hiking, swimming, laughing. It was an amazing trip. We talked a lot about our future together and enjoyed every moment together.
We also went on several hikes on our honeymoon. It rained a lot during our week in Hawaii. We had one great day of hiking and one day that it sprinkled the whole time we were hiking. That was fine by us. We ended up making our way back to a waterfall. It was beautiful and because it was sprinkling, there was NO ONE ELSE around. We had our own private waterfall. We went skinny dipping. Why not? It was pretty amazing. On our way out we ran into another couple trying to navigate their way back to the same area. They were trying to decide if it was worth it. We gave them directions and told them it was absolutely worth it. I hope they enjoyed the private little waterfall as much as we did.
We took a hiatus from hiking and shifted gears to walking to the mailbox with Baby Loco. After relearning to walk, a trek to the mailbox was a major accomplishment for Mr Loco. We talked about building a love of, knowledge about and respect for the outdoors with Baby Loco. GBS had us making modifications to life and this was not different. We would simply modify what we were planning as needed. How would we build this love and respect? Mr Loco went on a big trip to see a bunch of National Parks as a child and those memories stuck with him. Learning to use a map for directions and seeing so much of the country were things he remembered fondly and wanted to share with Baby Loco. Simply spending time outside and not staying cooped up in the house- grilling on the back patio (A Mr Loco Special- I may have to blog about his grilling. It was awesome!), sitting outside for breakfast with a coffee and a morning chat before going to work (moments I treasure), or “porching” with the neighbors each week. Mr Loco would step outside and say “THIS! This is why we live here.” I would say “I am glad we are out of the snow belt. Even when it gets hot, you don’t have to shovel sunshine!”
Now the task falls to me to share our love of the outdoors with Baby Loco. We will hike around all of our favorite spots in town and discover a few more. When we travel back to the midwest to visit family and friends, we will hike as well. I will also introduce Baby Loco to the Great Lakes. We know lots of people that will happily share their love of the outdoors with us as well. We currently go for walks in the wagon and runs in the stroller. We should try to get a few hikes in now before it gets too hot this summer. Sometimes doing something for the first time without the loved one you always did that something with is hard. We were part of a hiking group. The thought of rejoining them is hard. The thought of doing all of the things we did as a family are hard, even going to Trader Joe’s to buy milk seems very emotional and hard. I know over time we will tackle various aspects of our life and it will not feel so emotional to buy milk. Hiking and running will always have strong ties to Mr Loco. I have our handy hiking checklist. I just need to dust off my hiking boots, get up early one morning and go. For now, Baby Loco seems very content to play with her water table on the back patio and go for walks in her stroller or wagon wearing her sunglasses and floppy hat. I will share with her our love of the outdoors over the years. Hopefully that camp will still be going strong and Baby Loco will be interested in experiencing something her father loved.