Roy and I honeymooned in Glacier National Park (9 years ago this month!), and so we were excited to take Oliver there over the 4th of July weekend. As usual, things didn’t unfold exactly as planned. However, also as usual, it was a fantastic experience and such a fun weekend!
We left Friday morning hoping to arrive at GNP early enough to secure a campsite. Most of them are reserved on a first-come basis. As we drove, I kept checking the campground status online, and with each refresh I made, a new tent icon turned from green to red. So, we were not able to camp IN the park. Our friends have a family cabin nearby, though, and they were going to be staying there with other family members. They graciously offered to let us set up our tent in their yard…so we took them up on it! It ended up being perfect, as they also have a little toddler. We didn’t need to worry about vehicles or creating small boundaries like we would have at a busy campsite. (I do hope we can camp IN the park next summer though!)
Another bonus? Running water, private bathroom, and a stove to heat our water on for morning coffee!
Glacier National Park has so many fantastic hikes. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it. And when you do visit, let us know! 🙂 This trip, we had some fun hikes in the Two Medicine area, along Lake McDonald, and the very toddler-friendly Trail of the Cedars. Oliver’s endurance is increasing, as was evident with all of his hiking/trail running! (Maybe he’ll be my trail-running buddy in the future!) The beargrass is amazing right now, and to see O running through it with a big smile on his face was absolutely perfect. He’s had plenty of falls while running along trails in the past, and I think he must be learning, as he maybe had one or two minor tumbles this time around.
Water, rocks, and sticks continue to pique his curiosity the most. He could spend hours throwing and sprinkling rocks in the lakes. He’s also always on the search for the best walking stick. And no stick seems to be discounted – he’ll test out 4 inch ones to 6 foot ones! How do you know unless you try, right?? I love watching him test ideas and things out.
This trip, after about 45 minutes/one mile of hiking, he was content to get in the pack and be carried for awhile. That then allowed us to gain some distance. Then he could get out on the way back and run off some more energy before being stuck in the car again. It worked out perfectly.
I think the hardest part for me about the weekend was the lack of sleep from both Oliver and me. I sometimes want to have everything planned and on schedule and under control…but that’s not life. Nor is it a healthy way to live. When I saw just how much fun Oliver was having (despite his 9:30/10:00 o’clock bedtime and short car/hiking naps), I was able to relax more. I had to remind myself that if we kept him on his schedule every single day of the year, he would miss out on some one-of-a-kind and great learning experiences. We would miss out on making such memorable family memories. We wouldn’t be giving Oliver the chance to learn to cope with a messed-up schedule. Or ourselves the chance to work on it all (errr…mostly me. Roy’s great at being flexible!). And again, back to the building of relationships when camping – we would miss those ways of connecting with one another and with friends. I’ll take a few days/nights of less than stellar sleep in order to create memories around the campfire, build stronger relationships, and work on my flexibility.
Although, now at 36 weeks pregnant, I am finished with camping until after baby! 🙂