The afternoon was chilly and sunny and perfectly crisp, and it was decided: Huck and I were going to hike to Donut Falls. Huck is starting to insist on hiking more and more, and I thought this might be a good first hike for him. I packed sunscreen, jackets, extra pants and socks (knowing Huck would get wet), snacks, and water (and even a little bit of apple juice). It was going to be a GREAT day.
Well, we started hiking. I suggested that Huck ride in the pack while we walked up the road to the trailhead. "Walk! WALK!" he insisted. We held hands and Huck was perfectly sweet and adorable. About a mile into our hike, we ran into two large bull moose on the trail. I scooped up Huck and quietly moved back down the trail. I waited for about 15-20 minutes to see if they would move along, but they were both very content eating the trees on the edge of the trail.
I had this moment of pure stubbornness where I wanted to stay and wait it out. How big of a risk would it be? I mean, I planned our day around getting out on a hike, and I hustled all morning (gym, work, phone calls, paying bills) to make time to get out. We drove all the way up the canyon, and I packed and hauled my camera, tripod, and everything we needed to have a fun day together. And Huck was doing such a great job hiking! He was going to do his first whole little hike! But it was a risk. Too big of a risk with a child. So we kept heading down the trail back towards the car.
Did I feel disappointed? Yeah, sure. It's really hard for me to turn around on the trail (how many times have I biked down in the dark because I refused to turn around before sunset?). As a parent, your will/drive always comes second to the needs/comfort of your kid. That being said, Huck hikes suuuuuuuuuuper slowwwwwww.... so maybe it wasn't a terrible thing we turned around early. I'm deciding to look at the victories (um not getting in a moose fight) instead of feeling like a failure. Huck, you nearly hiked 2 miles! Nice job, buddy!