I believe one of the greatest gifts I can share with my sons is an appreciation for nature. We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful mountain town where people come for vacation. It’s an outdoor playground for people of all ages! My husband loves to mountain bike and ski, and Oden is already learning to do both. One of my favorite ways to experience the beauty of this area is simply to get out IN it on a hike. The trail system in Park City is extensive and I love being outside, under the pines and aspens, any time of year. I hiked often while Oden was growing in my belly, and got out on the trails with him as soon as I could. Look at sweet baby Oden!
I’m overdue to share our Summer Bucket List recap, but one of the items on it was “go on a hike.” One afternoon, we packed up the boys and Cholula and headed for a mellow trail. Morrison took a ride with me in the baby carrier, Cholula wagged her way all over the hillside, and Oden blazed the trail for us. We discovered that he loves hiking. How do we know? He wouldn’t stop telling us how much he loved it! He was in awe of the tall trees, the wildflowers, the view. He’d stop and examine each spiderweb. He’d get ridiculously excited to find a new flower or a pinecone. He’d say, “I can see forever!” Not many things would make this mountain mama’s heart glow more than hearing her 3-year-old say, “I love hiking in the woods!”
Since that first successful hike, Oden would ask to hike often. So family hikes have become a thing. We’ve hit multiple trails and the wonder hasn’t worn off yet! Sometimes Mo falls asleep in the carrier, which is adorable, but mostly he just gazes all around us and soaks in the surroundings, just like Oden used to do. I like to think we’re embedding something within these boys that will carry on throughout their lives.
A few days ago, we set out on another family hike and this time, I did something different. I found a simple nature scavenger hunt on Pinterest, printed it off, and we made it a game. We called it our “treasure hunt” and spent the hike searching for the different things on the list.
The list was such a fun way to expand Oden’s perspective a little bit and really look at his surroundings. We had to talk him into turning around to head home- he wanted to keep following the trail. He got so into gathering items and made John carry a doggy bag around so he could save his discoveries! It was fun to talk about different textures, shapes, sounds, and colors. Nature is a fabulous classroom.
By the time we returned to the car, the sun was low in the sky and tummies were rumbling. We decided to pick up a pizza and kept it simple for the evening. Oden loved taking his little nature souvenirs out of the bag and displaying them on the table, talking about the things we’d seen.
I know he’s at the age where he’ll remember certain things throughout his lifetime; my first memories are from around 3 years old. I like to think that these sweet family adventures will stick with him as he grows!
Stay tuned for our Summer Bucket List recap.