8 Mile Learning Experience

The Trail of Learning

I had a brilliant idea to take our family hiking on my day off to include our fur babies. We purchased $300 worth of gear that we would need. We purchased a new hiking pack that could hold everything we would need for us and the dogs, portable water dishes, and we wanted to get bug spray since the mosquitoes in our area could literally carry us off. There seems to be a shortage of repellent in our area and I had to sprint to he one area of the store no one was really looking…by the mouse traps! Success! My prize of three cans and six towelettes was quite a prize. We got granola bars, water for all of us including he dogs, stuff for pita sandwiches, chips, and new harnesses.

Our goal was to leave at 8 am but since I worked until bar time the night before, 8:30 am was when when we were able to head out. Not bad. We were all excited about the trail until my 7 year old decided he wasn’t going to have it. I felt like the worst mom in the world and I had the most horrible idea ever. That’s when I realized that was my C-PTSD rearing its ugly head and I don’t have to cater to my sons every wish. We stopped for a break and had our trail mix bars and water for the dogs and it was a great refresher. The dogs enjoyed laying in the shade and rolling around in the dirt and gravel. We called, ‘TIME’ and we packed the pack up, threw our trash in the designated area of the bag and reapplied bug spray. We headed off with a belligerent 7 year old in tote.

We must of hiked for another couple of miles (we were all guessing how far we went as there wasn’t a mile marker ANYWHERE in sight) when we stopped for lunch. Everyone was kinda of hangry and the stop was warranted. The dogs had water and their dog food (topped with chicken livers) then lounged in the sun as we prepared smoked turkey pita sandwiches with salad, Italian dressing, with all the veggies and cheddar cheese. We had some Lays tater chips (the ones that come in a tube) and plenty of water. I only wish we had packed pickles. After we were done, we bagged up the trash and pack and off we went. My son was unbearable at this point so we decided to head home.

We all got to the vehicles and just literally flopped down in them with the heat just swallowing us up and we drove towards the house with the windows down. This was due to the distance from the starting point of the trail to the house didn’t allow enough time for the AC to be fully ready to cool. We rushed inside and just laid around like slugs, dogs included. I had planned on grilling out but we opted to just go out to dinner. We discussed my son’s grounding rules (that he earned on his own) and what to do next time-like purchase more bug spray. That’s when we learned that we actually hiked 8.5 miles! We decided that my son and dogs go on short hikes and the girls, my husband and myself go on the long hikes. We planned out what things to pack and what not to pack. We also learned that we each should have a pack and not all one pack being toted by my husband…lawd help is aching back.

There is something that I learned though. I am missing time with my husband and kids. I miss the smell of the outside air full of fresh green scents of leaves and grass. I have missed the crunch of my shoes against a trail and the satisfying sounds of completing a goal. I felt free like when I was a little girl running through the woods and have now found a way to get that feeling again.

So I am armed with a small list of odds and ends to purchase and have been looking for new trails to hike.

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