As summer fades into fall you still have time to enjoy the last gasp of summer on a Summer/September Hike. The sun is still warm in the afternoon, the crisp mornings smell so fresh and a hike gives you a chance to remember the summer fun while anticipating the fall activities.
We always enjoyed out family hikes on Mt Rainier in September. This year, while Nick was home from Madison WI, we piled everyone in the van for our annual family hike and fishing trip to Mt Rainier. I was so excited that we had found a day when all of us could go. (Sadly, Greta was not along but I’m sure she would have had added to the fun memories we will share from our trip). Remember what I said about camping bonding your relationships with unexpected events. Well, hiking can have the same bonding experience especially if your trip includes a pregnant daughter-in-law, a 1998 van, 91 degree weather, a surprise crack in the radiator and a tow truck ride off the mountain into Eatonville and then one more tow truck get home for some special bonding! It is definitely a day we will remember although not the day I had planned. We were blessed in so many ways to have the van break down at just the right spot in the road – a wide spot in the road where it connected with the road to Stephens Canyon, a construction crew with a water truck and radios that could reach the Rangers who came to assist us, rides to Paradise where Joel, Danielle and Nick could do a little hiking while I tried to get through to AAA, a nice little stream by the road for Curt to fish while we waited for our tow truck. We had an encounter with the coolest bug, lots of laughter, made the best of the situation and we will always remember our meal at Bruno’s in Eatonville and the ride home, in the van, on the back of a flatbed tow truck.
I am hoping to have a few more, less eventful, hikes before the summer sun goes away. This year the warmth of the sun is overlapping the fall of the leaves. I love it! The sound of the crunching leaves as we walked the trails at Discovery Park on a Sunday hike brought back memories of many Sunday afternoons walking the trails with Joel and Nick as little kids. This time Nick chose a set of trails we had never been on. It was a fun adventure that led us to a new viewpoint and a sweet little bunny. Labor Day weekend we were lucky to be staying on an amazing houseboat on Portage Bay. We enjoyed several new ‘explore the neighborhood’ hikes as well as a familiar hike to Gas Works Park.
There are so many places, near and far, that you can go to explore on a hike with your children. They can be short and close or up the side of mountain on an all day hike. Either way, it is a time to spend outside with your child. They love the adventure and the time to explore. Give yourself time to look at what is on the trail – ferns, small beetles, moss and the sound of birds – take a field guide to identify what you see, have some fun snacks that you can use your imagination with to add to the adventure (my friend would take beef jerky just like the pioneers would eat) and add to the adventure by sharing the sense of wonder your child has on the trail. A trail that Joel and Danielle introduced us to is between Cowen and Ravenna Park. I was not moving steadily, or with much speed, after I had a knee surgery and this trail is perfect. It is a paved trail that meanders under a canopy of tall trees next to a stream and has a park at both ends. You feel like you are in the middle of the woods yet you are still in the city. It is a fun, close adventure trail – and you can picnic or stop at a nearby restaurant for lunch or a treat.
Whatever you choose, and wherever you go, spend some time outside exploring a trail and enjoy the sunny September weather.
Day Hikes With Kids