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  • Writer's pictureAmy Slater

Mountain Trip: Part three the adventure continues!

Day three was a perfect chance to show kids patience and how you can always flip a disappointing situation to make it better!

Day 3: A change of plans!

I started day 3 with a fun interval workout DVD and some much-needed Hypervolt, assisted mobility, especially for that tight right hip! Fortunately, my feet and ankles felt amazing, thanks to my VIVOBAREFOOT TRAIL SHOES. Our plans were to head out to the Blue Ridge Parkway to hike two of my favorite trails, Clingman’s Dome and Black Balsam Gap. But, sadly, after a 45-minute trip into town with two tired toddlers and we found the parkway gates locked. That was not going to stop us!! After a bathroom pit stop and some snacks, we had a plan!

We turned around and headed back up the mountain towards Highland’s, NC to hike Whiteside Mountain. All was going really well until Maddy decided she did not want to sit in her car seat anymore. My usual technique for this is to distract her by telling her to look for something that is not there. This time it was a big bird way ahead of us on the road. Does anyone else do this? It gives me about 15 seconds of time where she is not arching her back or screaming and I can buckle her back in. I spent the rest of the ride sitting on the floor between the front and back seats performing stuffed animal puppet shows to keep her distracted and in her seat. We ate lunch in the car before we set off on our hike in an effort not to have to carry snacks on our journey!

Whiteside Mountain

Whiteside Mountain was an absolutely beautiful treat! This was one of my favorite training runs while I was in school at Western Carolina University. The top was warm and clear and the bottom was covered in ice.

Poor Cameron spiked a fever on the drive up the mountain and was a bit out of it on the hike. He was determined to carry on and make it to the top!! Especially when he saw the big icicles!

Both girls made it to the summit without any trouble, climbing in their little Vivobarefoot Kids shoes! Now, being on the top of a bald with a straight cliff below with two almost four-year-olds is a bit frightening. Sure, there are cable barriers, but the girls, especially Madelyn, have NO fear and were keenly interested in getting very close to the edge! So, I just picked up Maddy and put her on my shoulders until we got off the top! Talk about loaded movement training, carrying a very wiggly and unhappy (about being on my shoulders) four-year-old along with two jackets and a water bottle on a narrow rocky trail. Yes, thank you I am glad for my resilience!!

I carried Annabelle on my shoulders on the way down and loved every minute of it. Just feeling her little legs and listening to her sing and chatter away are memories I will savor!

Maddy wanted to walk so she could pet all of the dogs that passed and climb on anything she could!

Let’s talk about letting the little ones explore!

My perspective on this is… you have to let them try. If it is not life-threatening and their greatest risk is they may fall and get a scratch, the lesson in trying is so much greater than the risk. So, Madelyn wanted so badly to climb a sharp jagged rock with a steep face. It took her a couple of minutes to figure out how to get a foothold to get to the top. This is all while her brothers were enthusiastically complaining about being cold and ready to keep going. She kept on persisting… life-threatening, it was great!!

When she got to the top, she was SO proud of herself and said, “take my picture, Mommy”! At that same moment, she started sliding down the front and could not stop.

She landed flat in a pile of mud! A woman coming up the trail just gave me this fantastic look and said, “Wow, that was really scary, you are very brave”! Now, based on her look, that was not a compliment! Good for her for voicing her concern! Maddy on the other hand could not have been more pleased with herself! Other than getting her coveted purple skirt, dirty, she thought it was great fun! If you are a mom, I am sure you have experienced the sideways looks or unrequested questioning comments from others. My suggestion is to go with your gut and let your kids explore! 🙂

The hike was a rousing success!! Even after a day that started out less optimal!

My solo hike and a lesson in self-love!

When we arrived home, William was supposed to do the whole Bearpen trail hike with me but opted out because football was on. Annabelle begged to go but decided to turn around ½ way up the very steep climb to the trailhead. I knew she would but I wanted it to be her decision. So, it was my turn to take a hike all by myself! For a long time, was supposed I have been making decisions as a Mom because I thought it was what I was suppose to do, what others expected me to do, or because I wanted to make things easier for everyone but myself. You know what… I am finally figuring this out, I AM WORTH IT and I DESERVE IT TOO!! I love my kids and I am grateful for them every minute of the day. I am also realizing that taking time for myself does not make me a bad mom, it makes me a better mom! I enjoyed and savored every second of my alone time in the woods and thought about ways that I could describe to them and share with them what I saw! It was great!!

Dinner and the Food Network!

After my great hike. It was time to get the kids organized for a shower before dinner. Showers before dinner are essential when the kids have had a long day because after dinner they want to play and then it is really difficult to get them all into a shower. After that, we ate another chicken, veggie and potato dinner. Cameron’s fever was going on and off so he dined in his bedroom which had its own TV. He was very pleased with that! After dinner, I was so tired I let myself just lay down and rest. Cameron and I watched three episodes of Good Eats! I LOVE that show!! I have not seen it in years as we don’t have cable. It was a real treat to hang out with my #1 and just be!

Day 4

The last morning of our amazing vacation started with another Pelvicore Workout and squat matrix. I got my Essential Mom Movement Series videos edited and ready for release and emails sent! It was a productive morning!! The kids got up about 6:30 and woke Kevin up around 7:00! Perfect, then I could organize the clothes, breakfasts, pack up the food, and get everyone breakfasts before William and I went on one more hike!!

Our final hike!

William and I set out in the rain for one more hike! He decided to do the Bearpen trail with me and I was super excited. As a twin mom, it is a rare moment to spend one on one time with each twin. William and I had a great adventure together. He stopped halfway down one of the steep sets of stairs and said, “wait a minute mommy, I just want to tell you something, I get it”. I asked him what he meant. He said, “I get the whole real food thing and I want to do a video”. I was really surprised so of course, we did a video!

We had a great little hike, chatting away. I loved watching him navigate the rocks, climb over and through streams and encourage himself up some steep hills. Who knows, maybe one day those little legs will carry him through some great trail races!!

The car ride home!

The car ride home was very cold and rainy. The kids were done about 1 hour into the ride. I opted to take full advantage of the movies my mother in law let me borrow! Between constant snack requests and questions about how much longer, there were periods of quiet. It did not bother me because I was blissfully typing away in the front seat!

So, until next year!! This vacation is locked away in my heart and mind as an amazing adventure worth every second!


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