On our honeymoon, Jrex took me on my first 'real' hike. In Tucson, AZ we hiked a couple miles in the desert, up a huge volcanic 'hill' and clambered up the last part using thick cables as hand holds. I'd never done anything that adventurous in my life. (Just ask him about my blood curdling scream when I saw the cables...)
He then also dragged me along on backpacking trips. I whined A LOT. Yet, what I remember from those death marches are the views from the top and the quiet evenings when we'd go lay back under the stars and talk about the day, about our hopes, our fears, and our philosophies.
For Christmas, we're venturing across the state to check out Big Bend National Park. If you've never heard of it, you're not alone! I never heard of it before moving to Texas. Since we're bringing the dog, we can't stay inside the park.
Instead we've rented a solar powered cabin 'just' outside (it'll take 45-minutes to drive from our door to the entrance to the park...plus however long to get to a trailhead). It's on 80-acres of it's own land, so we can do a little bit of hiking close to 'home': two rooms, furnished, heated and with a bathroom with a flushing toilet and shower.
Here's the thing (what I blame on Jrex), compared to a 'real' vacation in a hotel with restaurant food, this is 'roughing it'. Yet compared to digging a hole in the ground when I need to use the bathroom, this is luxury! He lowered my need for comfort and raised my adventure capacity. The proof of this is that when I read the cabin information and they mentioned needing to shake out shoes in the morning (to remove any non-poisonous scorpions), I didn't think, "I can't bring my precious child into such conditions!!". Rather I thought, "This will be interesting! Cool."
Sigh. I used to be a nice, corrupted city girl.
In related issues, we're driving 11 hours (not including stops) with a toddler and a dog in the car. Any tips? Must haves? Warnings?