I had a 4 day weekend for the 4th, and it was really exactly what I needed.I spent a lot of time outside, and had a lot of fun. 2 things in particular were very nourishing, and made me really think about how I want to be spending more of my time. A lot more happened over the weekend, but not for this post.
On Sunday we went hiking on the independence trail as a family. It was the first time Gabe was able to go hiking without a stroller or something to bring him in. After a morning of trying to get things organized, we made it to the trail around noon. Gabe was excited, and I was really happy to be out. Doing outdoors stuff with my kids has been a dream for me for a long time, and we are just coming into the time of life when we can really start doing that. Gabe is old enough to listen to us, and to have enough independence we don't have to be holding his hand all the time. Forrest is still young enough that he could sleep the entire time and we didn't have to worry about him.
Like most kids I suspect, he really likes being outside. He never complained about the heat, and was interested in everything that was going on. He sat at the overlook for 10 minutes, just looking out at the river in the distance, and telling us about what he was seeing.
I was overjoyed to see him doing what he wanted to do, and being empowered to check stuff out that I would have thought he would have been nervous about. He didn't even mind the bugs around, which was a huge step for him.
When we got to the creek we were heading to, he took off his shoes and went right in. There were other kids there to talk to, and they became fast friends. To see him being a kid and having fun was super refreshing.
I spend a lot of time at work, and so most of the time I spend with Gabe is putting him into bed and reading to him. This was really a breath of fresh air. He ended up walking to whole way without any complaining or melting down. It was just awesome. We are going to try to make a family hike a weekly occurrance, it is good for everybody, and gets us back in the habit of being outdoors.
Then Tuesday I took the day off to go rafting with friends. It reminded me that I should really go rafting more often. We had a great time. The creek we ran (Pauley Creek in Downieville) was running at a good level, which usually happens in May and not July. The rapids were super fun and low-stress, and the canyon is awesome. We ran a bunch of waterfalls, including a 25 footer at the end of the run. I ended up dropping off dead sideways, but it turned out okay. The run ends right in downtown Downieville, and was a great trip. Mellow, with good friends, just an encouraging day overall. I surely want to go on more trips like this, we talked about some more adventures for later this summer.