It was the movie Miss Potter that first peaked my interest in the Lake District. As a child, I loved traveling through the beautiful illustrations and dynamic woodland world of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy Winkle, and Squirrel Nutkin so visiting the place where Beatrix Potter was inspired to write these wonderful stories was a dream come true. When I discovered the Lake District was also the location of England’s highest peak, I couldn’t believe my luck. I can get my hiking fix and visit Hunka Muka in the same place? Find a campsite, hitch the camper trailer, we’re going!”
Northern Wales is the perfect combination of rugged mountains and pristine coastline. Despite the fact that we ended our trip with sick kids and a dead chicken, Northern Wales was wonderful. Our main reason for visiting this area is because we wanted to summit Mount Snowdon and we did it! North Wales is gorgeous. We continued exploring castles and even found a few more climbing crags!
As we drove through town, Sage looked out the window and pointed to a peak in the distance, "Mama, what's the name of that big mountain?" I told her it was called South Sister. "Is it hard to get to the top?" I said, "yes, it's a very hard hike to the top." In typical Sage fashion she replied..."Ok then, I want to do it."
Last weekend, we checked an item off our adventure bucket list when we completed Cactus to Clouds (C2C) as a family. My first attempt in 2011 was thwarted by a cold I caught at 9 weeks pregnant. Peter ended up doing it anyway with his friend Gabe and I met them at the tram and hiked to the summit with our friends Greg and Cathleen.
Since then, the full C2C adventure never lined up well with our weekend travel schedules and despite how much we love adventure, taking Sage on the hike always felt a little daunting. Ultimately though, our curiosity about whether we could do it with a 2 year old won over and we decided to go for it. I mean, really...who doesn't love a good sufferfest?
Just east of Fresno, CA, in an area geographically similar to Yosemite, lies Kings Canyon National Park. After hearing about the canyon's reputation for unrivaled beauty, we decided to meet some friends and check it out. We pulled into the entrance and I felt like I missed something.
On the long deserted stretch toward Bryce we were surprised when three Pronghorns bolted across the road in front of us. Peter swerved left, the confused Pronghorn ran right and slammed into the side of our car. I screamed the foulest of foul words and it's nothing short of a miracle that Sage has not started running around dropping F bombs whenever she sees a animal. Somehow the word didn't stick and fortunately we slowed down enough that both the Pronghorn and the car were ok. Well I think the Pronghorn is ok. It sauntered of into the wilderness and was only a short distance behind its friends. At the time we had no idea what the animal was and were both in shock. We found the closest pullout and drove in to catch our breath. The shock turned into tears of laughter (me) when this sign was staring at us from the side of the road.
During our 16 miles and 6,000 vertical feet together, Gorgonio threw some good punches. First it tried to get me with an achy left hip flexor followed by my own tears as I pondered whether or not this was a result of my age. My present for my 31 ½ birthday is achy hips?