Ah, sweet summertime.
The freedom, the adventure, the laughter, the weather that allows us to get out without spending fifteen minutes per kid wrestling them into snow gear. There’s something so refreshing about quick and easy adventures. Except when they’re not.
Instagram is full of idyllic outdoor photos, but I’ll be the first to admit that our adventures are usually completed to a “whining soundtrack”, complete with occasional full-on meltdowns.
So, for the sanity of us all (and the poor souls who happen to be near us), over the last few years we’ve built an arsenal of tricks for outdoor family survival.
Number one? Adventure with a destination in mind.
Number two? Bribe.
Best trick ever? Bribe to a destination with ice cream.
Maybe our thinking is completely backwards, but when our kids are worn out from a week at school or too many late nights, rarely does anything good come from a day at home. Our best bet is always to encourage them down a trail and spend the majority of the day outdoors together.
This weekend we convinced them to join us for a 8 mile bike ride (16 miles round trip), ending with ice cream at the most affordable place in the county (shhhhhh) – Dornan’s in Moose.
We loaded the two youngest in one Burley and our “dog-for-the-weekend” in the other Burley. I love that it’s possible to use the Burley trailers without kid seats so easily – it completely prolongs the usage life!
We all lathered on the sunscreen (which someone accidentally left in accessible in one of those trailers….more on that later), filled the water bottles and packed just-in-case energy bars.
In an effort to avoid a bit more traffic on the main road, we rode south from Kelly and jumped on Mormon Row, which is possible to bike all the way through in the summer. The traffic was certainly less, though the bumps more. The riders were all thankful for good Burley suspension that eased the jostling a bit.
Between conversations that could have leaked some whining, we were propelled forward by the Tetons (and ice cream) beckoning us all. While I have the privilege of seeing them daily, I will never tire of these views and the place we call home.
Between some necessary stops (throwing sticks in water is completely necessary) and dodging rocks, the ride took us a total of 2 hours. I was thankful the last two were paved bike paths free of the threat of traffic or difficult terrain.
We arrived at Dornans to discover that the three year old very pleased of the sunscreen painting she so carefully crafted as we rode.
We ate cones, decided to order pizza too (in an attempt to avoid the Hangry Monsters) and soon realized the clouds were rolling in, as they often do that time of the day.
I don’t know if it is just us, or just our luck, but we often end our most “epic” adventures with a thunderstorm encouraging us home. This was no exception. Somehow that last push to try and beat the worst of the storm also always brings us together as a Team.
And so, while we started the day asking ourselves if we were biting off more than we could chew (yes, yes we were), we finished proud of the challenge we had overcome as a family.
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