This weekend Liam and I decided to try the Crazy Horse Volksmarch. It's a 10k (6.2 mile) hike, which is significantly longer than the 1.5 mile loops we typically embark on, so I was really nervous about how things would work out. After talking to a coworker who had done the trip several times, I decided to give it a try.
Until this year, they only open the monument up for hikers once a year, but this year they plan to do it twice. It was sunny and 60 degrees on Sunday morning, so I decided it was best to do it now for fear of encountering snow or wind when they open it again in late September. They divide the trail up, so there are four check points on the way up. Shortly after checkpoint one, we decided to stop for a little break, and Liam decided to walk until we nearly reached checkpoint two. I was really impressed with how well he did. On Saturday, the lady who owns the consignment shop in town gave Liam a Buzz Lightyear, which he insisted on bringing along. It turned out to be a hit, as 60 year-old men would pass us and shout, "To infinity and beyond," and it landed us on a local newscast.
The monument is a work in progress, and passing all of the dozers and diggers and blasting equipment was probably Liam's favorite part, he shouted, "Oh, tool (cool)," which made me laugh.
Shortly before we got to the top, Liam started saying, "Wanna walk, Mama." I decided it was best to wait until we made it to the top. By the time we started the trek down, Liam was tired, hungry, and ready to get home, so he started running ahead of me, causing me to say, "Stay on the trail with Mommy" and "Be safe, Liam" more times than I'd like to count. Eventually, I found myself prying Liam off the trail because he laid down and refused to go any further and carrying him for several feet until I found a rock to boost him back onto my back and into the Ergo. A couple of ladies stopped to help me strap him back in. I'm an introvert to the core, and the solitude is one of the reasons I like hiking so much. However, the camaraderie on the trail that day made me grateful there were so many people around us. When I mentioned it was almost naptime, they chimed in, "He's doing great, and you're doing even better. You must take him walking often." They helped me put it all into perspective. When I saw a little boy who was not listening to his mom, they saw a two-year-old who had just successfully finished hiking or riding in the Ergo for nearly five miles of a 6.2 mile hike and a mama who needed a little encouragement getting him to the end.