About the Author, Momma in the Mountains: Lifestyle Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist. Trail name: Trailblazer
“I’m a mountain girl through and through, raised in the Colorado Rockies. I hike, climb, run, horseback ride, swim, bike, fish, etc: my favorites being anything on dirt. Trail running has saved my life a few times over. I love traveling long distances on foot (ultra running, fast packing, and backpacking) more than any other activity.
I’m also a momma to a sweet little boy who entered this world 3 months early, is autistic (as am I), and has many other special needs. Here again logging miles in the mountains saved (and continues to) my life and sanity. Life with a preemie/special needs kid is a bit difficult but we manage. I love sharing my adventures with my little man. I’ve learned lots of moms want to adventure but are afraid or don’t know where to start when it comes to adding a wee one. I hope in sharing my stories (about life in general and my adventures) that other moms can learn and hopefully realize it’s not that scary (and even fun and therapeutic!).”
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90 miles. 5-6 nights/6-7 days. Just me, my wee man, and the dog.
78lb pack: 15-20lbs heavier than goal weight. 22 lb child. Me: 136lbs.
Ambitious. Badass. I was ready – more than ready – mentally.
Playing at a water crossing.
Leading up to the trip I had pneumonia. While I recovered fully and was cleared for the trip it stalled training a good few weeks.
Needless to say things did not go to plan. By 1.5 miles I was needing to stop, drop water weight, shift some things around, and change how I was carrying my son.
Exploring at a “camp” while waiting for help to pack out.
By mile 2.something I was replanting in my head my whole trip. I knew for day one I had to get to the river so I had a water source. But from there I could make base camp, hang out a day or two then continue with a shorter route, or even head back home – I just had to have water to make it the night.
Somewhere in there my son wanted to walk so I ditched my poles and his carrier and packed them up. It was actually easier for me to go slower and give him my hands to hold. He walked a good 2 miles of technical terrain with my help. I was so proud.
The gear …. lots of it.
But that’s his max. He can’t do more than that. He started walking like he was drunk. He was so tired. I tried to carry him some more but realized I really couldn’t do that anymore. I was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 miles in. Still 4-5 miles from camp by the river. There was NO WAY. I made the hardest call I’ve ever made – for someone to come help me pack back out because I couldn’t make it back to the car and I didn’t have enough water to stay put.
I cried. I’ve never made that call.
Riley pup with his gear.
I failed, was all I could think. Not the weather turned. Not my son wasn’t handling it. Me, I, I failed. Or so I thought.
It was the right decision. My man ran in and helped me pack out. Believe it or not this was our first real hike as a family! My man and I haven’t hiked together since one of our first dates! And you know what – it was awesome.
The ground fell out from underneath me at one point and I landed hard on one leg. I remember ahead of the trip people kept asking, well, what if she falls with her kid – well what if? Quite simply I land in whatever way necessary to protect my son. I’ve fallen 4 times with him at this point and he’s never touched the ground. Some call it Mother’s instinct but I call it practice (martial arts is the best way to learn how to fall safely!).
Anyways, I had literally spent all morning concocting alternative plans. Options that would be more doable, but in the end I just couldn’t. That just sucked.
My leg after the fall (and post ‘shower’).