Feathered Aspen

Hen Goes to the Mountains


Early on in pregnancy Ellie declared that she wanted us to be unconventional parents.  We’re still working out the exact details, but it essentially boils down to raising Lily the way we want to, not the way people tell us we should.  Most of you who know us know that we like to do things differently than most people.  We are pretty unconventional.  We don’t want to change now that we are parents.   We want to continue living as some what frugal minimalists.  We want to keep adventuring.  We want Lily to be a bold, alternative, adventuring vegetarian like us.  I know we can’t choose what she’ll like to do or want to be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.

In some ways, the most important thing we want to do as unconventional parents is to take Lily adventuring.

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We want her to grow up camping, climbing 14ers, and tracking mountain lions. We want to travel internationally and live in other countries with her.  We want her to speak Spanish as well as English.  No matter the difficulty or obstacles we’re going to get her out.  Too often parents stay home and don’t travel because of the hassle or out of fear of sickness or illness. We’ve decided from her first months on we’re going to get out as much as possible.  Everyday on paternity leave, we’ve taken small adventures: walks around the neighborhood, trips to Yogurt Guru and the library.  This summer we plan to step it up a notch and spend most of our time camping in the mountains.

With this in mind, we took our first adventure into the mountains on Sunday.  With Papa and Granny in tow, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Trail Ridge Road is closed at Rainbow Curve, so we parked there and spent almost an hour walking up the road and taking in the views.  The ergo carrier is fantastic for hiking.  Hen straps to my chest and stays toasty warm.  Before we turned around, we reached just over 11,000 ft elevation.

On the way down, Hen got hungry and started wailing for the boob.  The mood in the car became tense as I wound down Trail Ridge Road to Bear Lake Road.  The plan was to find another trail for Papa, Granny, and I to walk along while Ellie fed Hen.  With the construction on Bear Lake road, the drive took us slightly longer than I anticipated.  Hen was howling by the time we reached Hollowell trail head.   Ellie didn’t say anything to me, but she was staring daggers.  For the next hour, Ellie fed Lily and Tim, Joette and I went for another walk.

After feeding, we headed into Estes Park for pizza and fudge.  Hen was great at the restaurant, sleeping through dinner.  On the way back to the car, she yelled for the boob once more.

All in all, it was a successful adventure.  Ellie and I are going to have to change our habits a bit to accommodate adventuring with Lily (such as stopping to feed every 2 hours for an hour), but I have confidence we’ll figure it out.  I look forward to all the fun we will have.

Author: Joshua

I am a husband and father. I am an outdoor enthusiast, adventurer and ultrarunner. I like to cook and eat. I love to travel and explore. Most of all, I like to do the things I love with the people whom I love.

4 thoughts on “Hen Goes to the Mountains

  1. Thanks Josh & Ellie it was a blast – you two make excellent tour guides & awesome parents – Lily will definitely benefit from both catagories – can’t wait for the next hike- Love, Dad -n-Joette

  2. This kind of adventuring is the one thing I feel I missed out on when young. I got to travel, yes, but there wasn’t much emphasis on fitness, at least as a group. I love your plans for your family.

    Did you read about the couple from MN who hiked part of the PCT with their young daughter? Their attitudes were quite similar to yours. I admire and aspire to your mindset, although I’d add in some bacon 🙂

  3. I always tell people who think they’re stuck at home….”BABY’S ARE PORTABLE!”
    YEA, YOU!!! Lily is a very lucky little girl!

  4. I look forward to doing some of that future camping with you. Can we establish a timeline for Hen’s first trip into the BWCAW? We won’t make her portage any gear:)

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