It’s not always the easiest, I tell you.
I am a not-at-home dad. I love to get out, do something, and be away from the confines of home. Family time is time to be spent on an adventure of some sort, in my books.
It started with geocaching as a way to extend walks and time outdoors. Add an element of treasure hunting and kids will play along.
Show them your phone with a couple of dots showing the location and “It’s just right there” is a lot closer than “Hey, it’s only another kilometre away.”
The geocaching has slowed the past couple of summers as Zacharie and I take to more serious camping adventures and hikes.
There are many hikes near Calgary that are great for kids. Troll Falls (above) is always an easy one. It crosses a bridge (where the troll lives), there are a few geocaches on the way, and the falls at the end is a great reward after a short hike.
There’s Grassi Lakes (below) if you want to get them into some climbing. It’s a short hike up to some beautiful lakes, and you can choose an easy or more difficult route, depending on the attitude of your charges.
I remember our first hike up Grassi Lakes, Zacharie pointed at the mountain next to us and said it was “Lost Everest,” and that one day he wanted to climb it. Actually, it was Ha Ling Peak (above), and later that summer I did climb it. And it inspired me to start dragging Zacharie up some (more) serious trails.
We did the Lake Agnes Teahouse (above) last year. A gain of more than 300m in elevation and 7k return was a good challenge for the kid. The reward of a lake and Teahouse at the top was wonderful.
This summer he has achieved three “summits.” We hit the Bear’s Hump (above)in Waterton Lakes National Park. We climbed up to the Bow Summit Lookout over Peyto Lake (below), and the grand daddy of them all was a 13k, 6 hour return trip to the Plain of Six Glaciers at Lake Louise.
It’s not always easy, hiking with kids. There are snack stops that need to be taken. I admit on the Plain of Six Glaciers hike (below) we stopped at one bench, fired up my iPhone with some tunes, and he played a few games for 10 minutes, just to break things up. But the rewards are so worth it. Seeing these pictures of my son on mountain tops, on wilderness trails, and experiencing the world are worth it.
Next year, I will take him to the top of Lost Everest with me. Can’t wait.
If you run, and don’t walk, check out runnerclick.com for some trail running ideas.