Thursday, May 3, 2012

100 miles.

That’s our goal. 100 miles.

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It started on one of our first hikes for the spring. We weren’t very good at getting out on the trail this winter despite it being pretty mild, and Ben and I were discussing how much we were enjoying hiking again. We talked about how we should do this more often. And my mind started working… I wondered what I could do to help us be more consistent about getting into the woods. We spend a ton of time outside both at home, at friends’ homes, and at the boys’ school. We’ve also been logging our fair share of playground hours. During the summer, we spend a lot of time at the lake. But, sometimes hiking gets a little lost in all that and yet it’s one of our favorite things to do as a family. It’s a place where we can quiet the outside noise (literal and figurative) and just be together. We explore, wander, and even get lost together. We learn together about trees, plants, birds, and bugs. We snack, laugh, and even sometimes complain together.

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A goal. A goal we could tackle together would get us out there. Ben loves to make lists, keep track of things, and celebrate accomplishments (yes, he’s my kid, even at the age of 5).

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Hey, Ben, what if we set a goal… to see how many miles we could hike before your birthday… how many do you think we could do?

He thought long and hard about this, and then declared, “One hundred!” His little brother quickly added, “I wanna hike one hundred too!

So there it was: 100 miles. I quickly began doing math in my head deciding if this was the impossible task, and I decided we’d see how it would go. Maybe we’d make it 100 miles in a year total if we didn’t get there by his birthday in January. If it weren’t for winter, we’d be fine. Of course, it’s a goal. It should be a bit of a challenge.But for now, we’ll start logging our miles and tracking our progress.

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A few days later as we went out for another hike, I was reminded that we will not simply be logging 100 miles. We will be exploring 100 miles with our whole bodies, with all our senses. We’ll be staring in wonder at bugs and snakes. We’ll be listening for birds and trying to remember what song belongs to which bird. We’ll be picking up rocks and sticks, feeling the earth in our hands. We’ll be watching for the splash and the ripples in the water as we drop stones from a bridge. We’ll be marveling at the way the ‘whirlybirds’ fallen from trees spin when we drop them. It’s going to be quite an adventure!

And when I see my boys tromping through the woods together, only stopping for a moment to hug, well I can’t imagine it gets any better… until my little guy gives his big brother an extra squeeze and tells him “you’re my BEST brother”.

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Miles logged:

April 2 – hike to Pinwheel Vista. 3.2 miles

April 12 - AT NY into NJ towards Glenwood Rd – 4.5 miles

April 26 - AT Canal Rd to 94 – 2 miles

April 30 – Appalachian Trail Boardwalk and nearby trail – 1.8miles

TOTAL for APRIL = 11.5.

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4 comments:

  1. I hope to explore more of those miles with you all :-) Inspirational!

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  2. What a cool challenge for you + your kids to do! :)

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  3. What a fabulous idea! How do you know how many miles the trails are?

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    1. Some of them we know from maps or markings... But, I also have a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch I use for running that I take with me if I know we won't be walking a set trail or something. Before that, sometimes I used an app on my phone like imapmyhike (which is the same as imapmyrun but with a hiker picture instead of a runner - ha).

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