Adventures, Parenting

The Story Of The Stupidest Idea Ever


Do you see the sign on the right there? It says This trail is 6.0 miles roundtrip descending 1000 feet. Participants need to be in good physical condition and allow 6 hours for an enjoyable completion of your hike. Here are some of the things I would like to add to the bottom of the sign:

Bring at least one gallon of water per person if hiking this during the summer. Don’t start drinking it until you are on your way back UP.


Not at all kid friendly. In case that needs to be said after the part about the distance and the elevation notes. We thought that would be understood but since some people are morons we’ll make it clear: DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN

or maybe

Please do not take this sign as a challenge. If you are stubborn and ignoring the voice inside your head that says, “Maybe this is a bad idea.” DO NOT IGNORE THAT VOICE.

This is me, ignoring that voice telling me, “Maybe this is a bad idea?” The bad idea was not the hike itself, of course. The hike was beautiful. The bad idea was bringing the kids and thinking we could just carry them the whole way. You know, because we’re men of steel or something. Well…maybe I should explain how STEEP a trail is that descends 1000 feet in 3 miles. It is VERY STEEP. And when someone as clumsy as myself adds 30lbs on their back and tries to climb down that mountain? It’s not pretty. We ended up very quickly switching kids in the situation. NikkiZ, although heavier, is a lot less wiggly and therefore allows me to try to maintain some sort of balance.

Making it DOWN the mountain almost killed me. I probably make NikkiZ walk a mile of that journey. But even making her walk a mile, the other 2+ (because we just HAD to go 3.5 miles instead of 3) nearly killed me. My toes were aching and my feet were blistered and my back/shoulders were frozen in agony.

And then we had to GO BACK UP.

MrZ took this picture about 1 mile into our ascent. >> Notice that my lovely daughter was asleep. Because we had worn her out. Poor thing. Except NOT because her mother WAS DYING. I passed her off to MrZ and I took AndyZ just for the break in weight (and we weren’t going down anymore so I hoped he’d be easier to balance) and that didn’t last long because I was unable to carry ANYONE at that point. So, 1.5 miles from the top and I woke up that angelic girl and MADE HER WALK. UP A MOUNTAIN. IN THE HEAT OF THE SUMMER IN ALABAMA.

(Are my caps making my point? That I’m abusive?)

By the time we made it back to the car MrZ had carried at least one child all 7 miles. He was in pain. We had to conserve the last 15ounces of water to last us all over 2 miles because we were worried we’d run out. After getting into the car and almost crying with relief we stopped at the first gas station we came to for 60 ounces of Gatorade, 60 ounces of water, and one Diet Coke.


To reward NikkiZ for walking almost three miles today, I took her swimming this afternoon and then both kids pretty much crashed out before 7pm. This was, by far, the most exhausting trip I’ve every made. The hike would have been FINE if we hadn’t thought we could carry the kids. We could have carried the kids FINE without the steepness of the trails. And we might not have almost killed each other in that last mile if we had brought more water. *sigh* Lessons learned.

And now for the kicker. Which might should only be read by the females in the audience. If you’re male? Consider the end here and just skip to the pictures. If you’re female? Read along so you can truly appreciate my suffering.

When we packed the kids back on our backs to start the return trip UP the mountain? We had made it about 1/4 mile when suddenly: I started my period. FOUR DAYS EARLY. Because climbing UP a mountain with a kid on your back isn’t tough enough without hemorrhaging through uterine cramps. The kind of endometriosis-induced cramps that require I stay heavily medicated for four days. THOSE cramps. Those unforgiving cramps with the unforgiving bleeding. Because I was NOT crying enough already, evidently.

Now…onto more pictures of the day! Sans evidence of that last story I added for the women!

22 thoughts on “The Story Of The Stupidest Idea Ever”

  1. You poor, poor thing. That sounds hellish.

    A number of years ago I was hiking the Chilkoot trail in Alaska and got major blisters (even under my toenails, ew). My grandmother, upon hearing the tale, told my mother that she couldn’t understand how I could go on. When my mom told me this I asked, “What should I have done? Sit down on the trail and said, ‘Send the helicopters! I have BLISTERS!!!’?”

    So yeah, I kind of relate to your story. You keep hiking on out because, really, what’s the alternative? Doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck though.

  2. Wow. (and, ow) I’m a good hiker, but I’m constantly in awe of people who haul their kids around like that. My backpack of Clif Bars and water is heavy enough! Hope you get a nice long soak in the tub tonight.

  3. Wow, Kim, major kudos there. It is inspiring me to convince the bf that we should go hiking… but without 30+ pounds of kid strapped to our back. 😉

  4. OUCH and YUCK and you por thing. I have learned a similar lesson in the past and let me say I am nowhere near as in shape as you. Heh. I do want to know WHAT that backpack/baby carrier is because I WANT ONE…dish!


  5. jen @ negative lane – Feminist. Teacher. Mom. Trophy Wife. Traveler. Reader. Writer. Indie Music Fan. Hiker, Biker, Runner. Recovering Infertile. Caffeine Junkie.
    jen @ negative lane says:

    Wow. Although the Hubster and I actually backpacked in a former life, we have not tried anything like it since having kids and NOW I AM REALLY BLOODY GLAD.

    Props to you for even having the gonads to think you could do it. And for making it back alive.

  6. Wow! That was tiring just reading it!

    I guess LilZ was at his dad’s since you didn’t mention him. Bad timing on that!

  7. You are incredible! There is no way I’d even consider putting Lil’bug in her backpack carrier on my back at 35+ pounds! no. friggin’. way!

  8. You are a saint!!! A saint, I say!!! No way would I have even thought about that, much less attempted it.

    Love the pic of NickiZ and her daddy. They both are grinning!!!

  9. Rachael1013 – Bellingham, WA USA – Sassy, fiery, tattooed bookworm, kinda-geek-girl, big heart, movie buff, mama to 2 crazy boys, photographer, windows down car singer following the thread of hope into a new phase of life. The written word is in my blood.
    Rachael says:

    I have had this happen to me before, only I was alone on a too long hike that my mom said would be “good for strollers”, such a liar! Glad you made it!

  10. abbyisawkward – I'm a college student with big ideas in a fast-paced, cynical world. I think out loud and I tend to get my point across (and clear my head) through words. Living the kind of Christ-centered life I desire gets tough when the media influence is bigger than that of the church, but I'm not stopping until I've made my mark for His kingdom.
    bee says:

    I could have handled it right up until the attack-of-the-uterus part. Carrying kids down mountains I can do. Cramps hit and I lie down and play dead for the full week that Aunt Flo visits. YOU ARE A TROOPER!

  11. I’m just wondering what made you even consider this??? I would have chickened out after reading the first two lines of the sign… forget the rest of it.
    And I’m sure if you dig deep enough, you can come up with some sort of “lesson” that you taught your daughter through this so that it doesn’t have to be considered abuse 🙂

  12. I’m sorry, I’m laughing out loud WITH you, not AT you. I give you a ton of credit for making it the entire hike with two kids because I would never have survived. But both kids look adorably stylish and shielded from the sun. And that has to be the WORST TIME EVER for your period. Definitely insult to injury.

  13. I wouldn’t hike a hell-trail like that without kids. And you did it with?

    I too am amazed at the people who willingly carry their kids on their backs during hikes. On much easier hikes than the one you did.

    I am also amazed at the people I see show up to hike in flats. Or flip-flops. Or the kids are barefoot. OUCH!

  14. Ow. I don’t get along with the outdoors to begin with, but this story is truly nightmarish. On the bright side: you won’t make a mistake like that again!

  15. I am sorry. I laughed a little. It isn’t funny…like hahaha funny, but a giggle. I did a 4.7 hike around a lake in Maryland, there wasn’t any really steep parts, only a few and I didn’t have a child on my back. There was a downpour in the last mile of the walk……because you know that is fun too. I bet the kids loved it though!!

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