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16 in 2016: Hike the Abby Grind with the Family

Our badges of honor (i.e. very dirty bums)

Although it's been an extremely quiet month over here on the blog, I've been involved with a lot of behind the scenes work with school and church, and I'm proud to say that I've sneaked in a few bits  of my 16 in 2016 list!

Our family hiked the Abby Grind a few weeks back on a warm day that made for excellent mud, as you can see. The entire hike is called The Sumas Mountain Hike, and it's a long one, but a small version of that is locally known as the Grind because it's straight up the entire way.

 Although we all had warm enough clothing, we did not have the one item that we would have really benefitted from--shoe chains. Over 3/4 of the hike was completely covered in snow, ice, and muddy slush, and it was laughable just how ridiculous we probably looked slipping and sliding up and down the mountain. We will definitely be investing in these for all three of us (Stefan has some but for whatever reason didn't have them in the car) before we attempt another winter hike.

I love hiking in the winter for a few reasons. It's the perfect temperature (for me) when I am exercising, to be surrounded by cold, crisp air. Fifty degrees was always my favorite temperature to run in, because although I'm sweating with exertion, I don't feel hot. Let's not even talk about Nebraska summers and going back inside to escape the humidity before 10AM.  I also love finding snow up here in the mountains, because there is rarely-if ever- any snow in the lowermainland. It's just too mild to collect and stay, which is why it's always rainy. Finding and playing in the snow is something my kids remember from their earliest days and it helps me remember that it IS winter and there ARE seasonal changes out here.

This is a great hike for kids but I wouldn't take them if it's their first time hiking, or if they've never done a solid 5K. It's not a long hike by any means, but it's consistently steep and unexperienced kid hikers will wilt about 25 minutes in. We had to stop a few times on the way up for rests for them, but they did great and enjoyed the view and the snacks up top.

On the way down...we basically slid on our butts nearly the entire time. Well, maybe not Stefan, being as he's good at everything, but it made my smug black little heart happy when even he fell a few times. The photo above shows just how much we were on our tail ends, and if you look closely at my entire right side that I'm pointing toward the camera, you can see wet mud from butt to ankle. I took a slip and landed in probably the soppiest mud on the whole trail. Figures! We had fun, nonetheless, but realized that if we're going to continue being serious hikers with our kids, we need to invest in the right equipment.


Other 2016 List items I'm currently working on:

*I bought 1 cute houseplant, and have given Stefan an idea/photo (sort of, note quite) of what I want to have in my house (it includes a bit of carpentry, and two more plants)

*I'm just finishing up Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, as a read aloud to the kids. This is our second book in the Little House series! I'm hoping to have the collection read to them by the beginning of the summer.

*currently in the planning stages of a summer vacation with family to Banff National Park and Calgary, AB!

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