Week 4: Bear Valley

Bear Valley Park

Hike: Easy

Miles: Variable

Activities: Hiking, running, cycling, boating, fishing, picnicking

SkyToday was a spectacular day for a hike! The sun was shining, and the snow was melting which created small rivers by our feet. AJ was in the mood to hike for the second day in a row. Yesterday, he made the 2 mile trek from the Library to our house, and today he covered the same distance. MJ slept on me; I know that these days are numbered, and so I am enjoying every moment.

It’s interesting hiking with a 2 1/2 year old. They are so curious, and completely present to the moment. AJ stopped to flip over a rock, and then proceeded to talk about it. He stopped to jump in, and over puddles, he sat in the snow, and when we got to the road he danced on the yellow lines, jumped over them, and enjoyed the freedom of being out in the street without holding an adults hand.

Joe and I shared intermittent conversation, but mostly enjoyed breathing in the same fresh air, answering AJ’s questions, and listening to his narrative. We reflected about how our 52 Weeks of Nature adventure has gotten us out of the house as a family for the 4th week in a row. It truly has changed the way we approach the weekend, for the better. The only drawback has been that we have been skipped church in favor of mother nature. I suppose you can’t do it all!


I find that I am much more fulfilled after an outdoor outing with the family. The sweeping views, the smells of nature, the ground under my feet – feeling the support of the earth beneath me has always made me feel connected to the divine. Such deep thoughts are common for the outdoorsy person, but just as easily interrupted by a crying 2 1/2 year old who has just watch his dad take off down the trail toward an outhouse. AJ was overcome with emotion about his dada leaving us on the tail. There was no explanation consoling enough stop the crocodile tears from flowing.

Try as I might, I could not convince AJ that dada would be right back. Prior to Joe’s bathroom break he and AJ were having a good time throwing snowballs. Joe is playful, and so, apparently is AJ. I did my best to comfort AJ who was crying so loudly I was convinced everyone could hear. When dada reappeared, and the fun returned, and we were back to a happy AJ.

Soon after that episode our blue car came into view and we all celebrated! It was time to turn on the Christmas music, and head home for lunch, and naps. And now calling this blog to a quick close is the fact that Joe is rallying to troops to go outside, and build a snowman. We really are reliving the spontaneity, simplicity, and fun of childhood, and it is fantastic!

artie in the road

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