Friday, May 25, 2007

Maya's First Hike

Lyle had a day off from work, so while the big kids were at school, we took the little girls up to the Olympic Mountains for a hike. The day was clear and beautiful and the weather was perfect!

Abby has only been on two hikes, and both times she's seen bears. She's pretty sure that's the norm. These bears were quite close to the road and we did get out of the car for a better look, but having the car right there helped us to feel safe.

Abby checking out the viewpoint at the lodge. She had a great attitude, but we were to soon learn that the hike was more than we'd bargained for!

Maya thought riding in the backpack was great. She thoroughly enjoyed her personal bag of trail mix, but made Lyle a little nervous when she kept saying, "put it in a pocket!" Lyle wondered what pocket she was talking about, and later discovered that a few nuts and M&M's had found their way down the back of his shirt!

Abby listening to the peaceful sounds of nature. I should point out that at this point, the sounds were peaceful--later on, that all changed! Hint: Remember the bears?

At the start, the trail was completely clear, but as we got higher, we trudged through lots of snow.

At this point, we were still doing well!

Here's where things began to fall apart! We needed to pass through a large, steep slope covered with snow. In this photo, normally sure-footed Lyle slipped down the embankment and saved himself and poor Qiu from a serious fall by grabbing hold of a tree branch.

He got a little dirty! I wish I took some pictures of the treacherous hike from here on out, but I was more concerned with survival! The deep snow chilled Abby's atittude considerably and after crossing a couple of snow fields, we realized we'd never make it. So, we turned back and slipped and slid back through the snow.

Maya zonked out in the backpack and we picked up the pace as we repeatedly heard the grunts of a bear somewhere behind us. We never saw it and didn't spend much time looking. We were all happy to get back to the car!

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