Most times when hiking, we learn our lessons the hard way. From forgetting an essential item, to pushing yourself too hard, or learning your equipment doesn't fit you right when out on the trail, we come across some obstacles that we have to adapt and learn from. My husband and I had one of those days where every single thing seemed to go wrong, and let me tell you, we learned the hardest lesson of all.
When Patrick arrived in February, we both were so excited for the times of bringing him out on all these adventures we had been so blessed to have been on and sharing special family memories with him. Fast forward to five months later, Patrick is finally sleeping through the night, able to self soothe and healthy as a bee! We decided to pull the plug and finally take off on that much needed family vacation this past weekend. We prepared a "baby checklist", checked it twice, and even brought extra toys for the 3 hour drive to the Appalachian Trail from home. That checklist didn't end up doing much good for momma's pack. Half way through the drive, I realized that I had left my rain jacket and didn't bring any warm clothes... I forgot to add that this was in the middle of a nor'easter and 40 degrees in the mountains (a much welcomed change from the 100 degree heat at home).
Hour two of drive: Hit an hour's worth of traffic.
Hour three of drive: Screaming from back seat starting.
Hour four of drive: Lost on Blue Ridge Parkway (beautiful, but not when your ears are bleeding). Find out I left jacket at home, have to stop at ski shop near Devils Backbone Brewery and spend $50+ on rain jacket and underarmor.... Still screaming.
Hour five of drive: Lose service and have to find our location the old fashion way.. a map! Still bleeding ears...
After finding the AT around 4 p.m., we were able to get strapped up and set off on a very relaxing couple mile hike, in which we turned around and came back to our original location to set up camp. Patrick loved hiking and wandering in the woods. He was leaning back in his Ergo Baby, relaxing and watching the trees pass by. We thought we had made a turn for the better with this new babies attitude! Nope...
Once camp was set up Patrick drank some milk, ate his sweet potatoes, and went down for what we thought was a restful night sleep in the tent. Fast forward twenty minutes when he woke up screaming bloody murder, throwing a temper tantrum and waking up every critter in the forest. The screaming lasted for over a hour. Trying to soothe a baby in the woods is not easy, because we didn't have the normal amenities that we did at home to try and soothe him. I'm not sure how something so cute can be so stubborn, but he managed to convince us that it was time to pack up and get back on the road to get home. When 9 p.m rolled around we had everything packed and back into the car for another four hour drive home. The second his precious little bum hit the car seat, he was out cold for the entire drive.
The lesson we learned with this first outing with Patrick was that practice makes perfect and patience is key. Little fella just needed some time to adjust to his new surroundings. I would suggest to mommies to try and practice at home with your equipment and make sure baby is going to be comfortable beforehand. That'f the fun thing about being new parents, every single outing is a new life lesson.
A very exhausted,
Back Country Momma