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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Well That is One Way to Justify Buying New Shoes.

My husband has gotten into triathlons lately and so when he said that he needed to go to a nearby nature park to go to an orientation for a triathlon the next day, we decided it would be nice to go for a walk. The weather was beautiful and we really had nothing to do, we were bored, and also out in the fresh air diminishes the fighting for a short time …  so we packed up the chariot, grabbed snacks, water, and the dog and headed out.

We got to the parking lot and I made sure that we had everything.
Sunscreen, check.
Water, check.
Snack, check.
Bugspray, check.
Dog, check.
Doggie Bags, check.

We said goodbye to the husband and started walking down the path to the nature preserve. Not 1 mile into the walk my 7 year old starts to complain.

"I am hungry, I am tired, It's too hot" I told him that we had done this walk many many many times in the spring and that he liked it before. I also told him that he had better like it now since I just had to walk down a direct decline while holding a Chariot with 50+ pounds of children in it, also while holding the dog and PRAYING that I did not slip and send my children on the ride of their lives!!!

We made it down to the preserve and off of the bike path as the crazy athletes were busy practicing for thier race; wizzing by way too fast for me to keep the absentminded 7 year old out of their way. (and my insane dog that wanted to race beside them!)

The hike that we chose is a easy one - it's one big loop and would take about an hour at a quick pace to finish. We had done it during the spring thaw and finished in just under an hour - so I was hopeful that we would finish in the same time - and maybe even have time just to sit by the river and throw rocks.

Once we started walking my kids started to complain and fight with each other. My nice relaxing nature walk was filled with sounds of screaming, crying and yelling. I wanted to pull one of them out of the stroller but then we would be walking at a toddler pace, and it was WAY too hot to be doing that! I wanted to get out of the meadow and into the shade of the forest as fast as we could go. My eldest son agreed with me on the heat except he kept complaining that, "It is like we are in the middle of the desert!!"(over and over) Yes, it was hot, but we all had water and TWO of them were in the chariot. So really, the only one complaining should have been me (since I had to push it).

I had to keep pulling the dog close to me so not to stir up the mosquitos and try and keep the 7 year old in front of me because once he went behind me his mind would start to wander and his pace would slow to that of a snail. Not that I didn't want him to explore nature - but at a regular walking pace please. (and the trees were so, so close.)

After 20 mins in we had not even got to the halfway point, and the incredibly slow walking of the 7 year old caused the mosquitos to get a good foothold on my head. I managed to get a nice big bite right on the middle of my forehead. Of course the 7 year old continued to complain about the heat and now the bugs but did not realize that walking like a tortoise was the REASON it was so hot and the bugs were eating us alive. (I may have threatened him at this point.)

We stopped at a bench and these tourists that were far behind us when we started and then RAN past us when my kids started to scream, had been sitting for quite a while waiting to talk to me about the trial. I explained how long it was and they bailed…I thought of bailing too - but I liked the area, and my husband wasn't done for at least 2 more hours. So against my better judgement we drenched ourselves with bug spray and continued on. In the shade of the trees there were many more mosquitos but the walk was much quicker (if he stayed in front) and enjoyable. When we hit half way I heard the biggest boom of thunder. We hit a clearing by the river and I looked up.

Dark Storm Clouds Rolling In

I started to panic. We had about 45 mins left to walk (since our pace was still rather slow thanks to my child with his head in the clouds) and the storm looked like it was going to open up. The last thing I wanted was to get drenched. I thought if we could make it out of the woods and back on to the path - it would only take 15 mins to get to the van. 

So the question really was… could we outrun a storm in an hour? 

I am going to shorten this post and just tell you no. No we did not. 

Even though I yelled at my older child to run and repeatedly told my little children to stop fighting - and no they couldn't come out of the chariot, and kept pulling my dog along - even though she wanted to sniff every single tree in the woods… we did not make it. 

We did make it to the path after an hour of RUNNING through the forest… but that was it. 

Once it started raining the kids were super excited to be out in the rain. (my poor deprived kids)

Casually Checking Out the Raindrops
Starting to Rain

As we walked along the pathway feeling the light drizzle people were RUSHING past us to make it to their cars. My eldest commented on the fact that they were moving so fast - and I told him it was because it was a thunder storm.

As the thunder got louder and the rain harder, the little kids started to freak right out. The thunder was scaring the crap out of them, my dog was trying to bolt and I was thinking about the likelihood of getting struck by lightening. I put the two littles back in their seats. (with the rain cover down - lucky kids!!) And my eldest son FINALLY started to run…..

Guess He Didn't Like It Afterall. 
We got soaked. It took us 40 mins to get back to our van. Passing people under the bridge, under tress, in full rain gear. I just kept saying, this is an experience. You are soaking wet and you can't do anything about it, so just keep walking… then I looked down and realized I was wearing leather flats from Arnold Churgin…. grumble grumble. 

We finally made it to the medical tent where my husband was and grabbed a towel, and warmed up. The rain let up at that moment so we made a break for it to the van. 

Seriously Soaked.
Look At Their Shirts!

I actually had a change of clothes for all of them once we got to the van, and the sun came out so I let the Chariot and dog wait next to the van until my husband was done. (Still took him 20 more mins.)

I was actually pretty proud of myself. Another time I would have lost my cool, and probably dragged the older child or maybe threatened him with being eaten by a bear or cougar (which technically wouldn't have been a lie in a nature preserve), but instead I just laughed at the inevitability that is my family on an outing.

All Dry and Unscathed. 


Heather said...

LOL! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself a little - I love the rain. It keeps the bugs down and it's refreshing. Nobody will melt (can you tell I lived on the West Coast?)

SamiJoe said...

Rain is of course, much better if you are prepared for it. But once in awhile, it really feels alive to get soaked!

(Like I did today!)

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