A couple of weeks ago, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to hike to the Y on Labor Day (today) with my husband and three boys. I'm sure at the time I was thinking of the joy of family togetherness and the spiritual aspects of communing with nature (as much as can be done while hiking Y mountain). I also thought that being outside would curb the incessant arguing that occurs between sons 1 and 2--at least for the duration of the hike. Such delusions had even me--camping/hiking/roughing-it challenged that I am--looking forward to the hike.
WHAT kind of DRUGS was I ON???? Hmmmm....let's go through the list, shall we? Allergy pills, birth control, multi-vitamins, allergy stuff, anti-depressant, asthma inhaler..... None of them could possibly have put me into such a mental state as to cause me to agree to such nonsense, could they?
Let's just say it wasn't the best hike I've ever been on. Yes, once we got up there the view was spectacular. I loved being up that high and trying to figure out where my house is using the landmarks I recognize. I loved seeing that, from a long ways away, Utah lake is blue. I loved looking down on the city I was born and raised in and seeing the many ways it has changed and just how beautiful it is when seen from above. (There is so much to be said about a higher perspective.) I loved seeing the absolute joy on the face of my almost 2-year-old when he saw helicopters and airplanes almost at eye level. Those parts of the hike I loved. It was the rest I could have done without.
Things I hated about hiking the Y:
1. The climb up. I never knew I needed so many breaks to rest! Granted, last time I did this I was probably 9 or 10, but sheesh! I didn't think I was that out of shape!
2. The climb down. Can you say "rubber knees"? 'Nuff said.
3. Son #2 saying "I'm tired of hiking this already" only 10 yards up the trail and repeating this phrase continually all the way up to the top.
4. Son #1 saying, "Well, actually ...." every time son #2 expressed an opinion on anything and then proceeding to make broad generalizations and presenting them as absolute fact. Must we argue about everything????
5. Getting a blister on the tip of my big toe. I've never, ever had a blister there in my entire life.
6. Listening to son #1 (A---) complain that he was getting hot spots on his heels. In his pre-hike talk, Phil had instructed the boys that they were to tell him immediately if they felt any hot spots so that he could put moleskin on them and prevent any blisters. A--- took it to heart and beyond. When Phil asked if the spots were really hot or just warm, the only answer we could get was "I can't tell." When Phil asked A--- to wait till we got to the top to check his heels (since we were almost there), we had to listen to him whine the rest of the way up about how unfair it was that Dad was annoyed with him for doing exactly what he was told to do. (Of course, he totally ignored the fact that Phil had asked him a direct question which he refused to answer.)
7. Having to change a poopy diaper on son #3 in the bushes just above the Y. Where do you have the kid lie down? And then you have to pack the smelly thing with you all the way back down the trail.
8. Sunburn. I actually suggested bringing sunscreen, but my spouse insisted that we wouldn't need it. I should have listened to my inner voice. I got burned to a crisp. Of course, dear hubby and our three sons don't even look pink.
In the spirit of being fair, I must say there were other things I liked about the hike, other than the aforementioned reasons. My favorite part was when husband Phil instituted a 5 minute no-talking rule. We did this twice on the way down, and it was heavenly! I don't think the boys liked it very much, but Phil and I sure did.
I also loved it when son #2 found a "walking stick" to use on the way down. Let's just say that a more accurate term would be a walking log. He loved it, and he looked so cute trying to use it. (He generously offered to let me use it so I wouldn't fall down the mountain.) The thing was as big around (probably bigger) than his arm!
Son #1 demonstrated his joy in bossiness when he told his brother (son #2) that "S---, since I'm your older brother, and no other grown-ups are around, it is my job to keep you safe up here." This was reported to me by a total stranger when Phil and I finally hobbled our way up the face of the Y to the top with son #3 walking between us. The man was impressed by A---'s sense of responsibility. I was impressed that S--- wasn't in tears because his brother was dragging him all over the place in his efforts to "protect" him.
I guess I must say, begrudgingly, that it wasn't that bad of a hike. It's an easier hike than the one to Timpanogas Cave. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a hiker. I tried really hard, on the way down the mountain, to picture my little family as the Von Trapp Family Singers, hiking bravely into the Alps to escape Nazi rule, but I don't think "The hills are alive....with the sound of fighting" would cut it in the lyric world.