Joe, Hallie and I did our very first, and definitely not last, hike here on Kauai!
The night before, Joe out of the blue said "lets go hiking tomorrow"!
I of course, agreed.
We pulled out The Guide to Kauai Handbook, and started reading up on all the different trails.
It gave lots of tips such as stay on the trail, don't go off the beaten path.
Never hike alone.
Don't be shy on how much water you bring.
Do not eat any berries that you are completely sure of what they are.
Bring compact foods, such as granola bars for energy.
The trails were rated from easy, moderate, and hard.
They also told which ones were "family friendly", and which ones had fruit trees to pick from.
We chose a moderate hike, family friendly, that was 2 miles there, which of course meant 2 miles back.
With a baby in tow, that sure seemed like a long hike to me, but I was up for the challenge.
Joe assured me that we could turn around at any time, and that we were not committed to anything if we didn't like it.
So, we started getting our bag all packed up!
Since we read don't be shy on the water you take, we filled up 2 big water bottles, packed some snacks, and milk for Hallie.
After a big breakfast to energize us, the next morning we were off!
We had to drive about 20-30 minutes just to get to the trail, but let me tell you, it was so worth it!
The mountain is called Sleeping Giant, because from afar it looks like a giant sleeping on its back.
We got to the trail head, packed Hallie up in the Ergo baby carrier, put the backpack on and headed up the hill.
It had been raining up north that day so we chose a hike more on the east side and got very lucky that the trail was not muddy.
It was pretty much the perfect consistency, a little moist for traction, but not too much at all.
I led the way with Hallie on my back because Joe tends to take off like a rocket ship, or should I say speed *RACER* , and I cant keep up.
Your only as fast as the slowest person, they say.
As I climbed the mountain side, I was amazed at all the vegetation that surrounded us.
It was so lush, green and beautiful!
Every so often we would come to a clearing, where we could see out over the island and ocean.
It was absolutely breath taking!
The trail was very well established, so we had no troubles knowing where to go next.
Some of it was pretty easy, and then there would be these big lava boulders along with small ones we had to climb up and maneuver.
My heart was definitely pounding at times, and the sweat was starting to seep out of my pores.
My back was the hottest of all because little Hallie Rose was right up against me.
She was loving it the whole time!
We would stop every so often and get a drink of water, and let her feel the green leaves or flowers which she loved to pick and hold onto.
Once we reached the 1 mile marker, I decided it was time to switch roles.
Joe took Hallie and I took the backpack which was filled with our water, snacks, diapers, and milk.
He said Hallie felt lighter than the pack, and I said the backpack felt lighter, so it worked out nicely.
A little after the 1 mile marker, we came across a couple with two kids on their backs.
They were from Canada, names were Jamie and Samantha.
Their kids were 4 years old (Harrison), and 9 months (Taylor).
They had obviously done this before, as the back packs they had their kids in were awesome!
So comfy for the child and the adult carrying.
Lots of room for storage, and even a little umbrella thing above the child in case of rain.
We spoke with them for a while and ended up hiking the rest of the way up with them.
At the top, there was a clearing with 2 picnic tables, and 2 lookouts.
We all just sat around, the kids played, ate food, and re hydrated.
After about 30-45 minutes of rest, we decided we would head back down.
It was getting to be about time for Hallie to take a nap, so we figured we would get going.
Good-byes were said, and we were headed downhill.
Joe carried Hallie on the front this time, for safety reasons.
I felt if he were to slip, he would most likely hit his butt, and possibly smash Hallie.
As we headed down, we had time to chat about life, us, our kids, and other things.
It was a great bonding experience for us.
Oh, and let me tell you, downhill wasn't that much easier physically than uphill.
My thighs were burning and I was definitely sweating!
By the time we reached the bottom, Hallie was fast asleep curled up next to her Daddy's chest, all tuckered out from her very first hiking experience.
Joe and I drank a lot of water, then headed out.
We realized we were starving, after all, we had just hiked 4 miles!!
So, we stopped at a local health food store called Papayas.
We both made huge salads at their sweet salad bar, and for dessert shared a piece of cheesecake.
It was such a fun day, and we both cannot wait to go on another hike!
Unfortunately, Jalen has no interest in hiking at this point in his life.
He would rather be surfing, body boarding, or swimming in the ocean or pool.
We are loving Kauai and all that it has to offer.
Our family is able to bond in ways we never thought possible.
We are learning new things about each other everyday, and getting to experience things together that we never dreamed of!
We are blessed and thank God everyday for those blessings.