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Whew! This river is so cold, or "refreshing." Haha. This was our one last summer hurrah (locally) before the start of school. José and Rey joined us and then we met our good friends YuYi and HT there. They live in Seattle, but they were on their way home from CDA. Maeve went on the paddle board with YuYi and then Ira brought his lifejacket to me and he wanted to go too. That was surprising!

Maeve loved throwing rocks into the river with an audience and lots of praise. And then Conor showed us what fitness in the wild looks like when he threw large rocks into the water chasing the biggest splash. A fun day!

Day two was a clearer day than the first - the smoke and clouds were gone and the lake was glittering. My girls did great hauling all their gear out despite still feeling tired and a bit sore from the first day. The trip was just the right amount of challenge were the girls were ready to be done by the end, but could still finish it. We made sure to stop for one last dip in the lake before our final push to the car. Swimming in the water was dreamy! Molly (the dog) swam from person to person entertaining us all. I took some time on the shore to reflect on this trip. I was so grateful to be able to do this with my daughters and my best friends. My body felt strong, no knee pain (!), and seriously to be a bunch of women camping and exposing our children to this was very empowering. My mind felt calmer, I left feeling restored. Stepping away from the busy day to day and the household and family and baby demands was something that really helped to revive me. I'm looking forward to more adventuring with this crew!

I took Holly and Greta on their first backpacking trip (and actually only my second!) and we had so much fun! We went with our friends and a dog - so fun to have a dog with us! We went to Bead Lake, which is about an hour and a half away. It was a there and back hike, about 12 miles total, and we probably did around 2/3 of the distance on the first day. The girls were so strong and total troopers! I was really proud of them. And they want to do it again! I'm hoping this will become an annual thing. All 4 of the kids shared a tent and I think that was a dream come true for them. They've always wanted to have a sleepover (and they basically had one in Banff last month), but all the giggling was adorable.

Gotta say, the girl power vibe of this trip was strong. How awesome is it that all 4 girls first backpacking trip was led by 3 woman? I'm kind of bursting with all the "hear me roar" feels. Here are a bunch of pictures from our first day!

One last stop, a dip into Two Jack Lake!

Day 3 in the mountains, took us to Grassi Lake, but the roads were closed. So I've saved that one for a family hike in the future. Instead we went to Grotto Canyon. Once we arrived in the parking lot, Conor and I recognized it. We had done this hike when I was pregnant with Maeve! So a repeat, no big deal. Enoch wasn't feeling very well (day one of covid for him, poor guy), so he stayed in the backpack carrier the whole time and no one was allowed to look at him! The hike began feeling really dystopian, dried out creaked, walking past a mineral processing plant. We got some laughs out of that. But as we arrived at running water and cooled off the the canyon, it all felt a little better. Ira loved playing in the water and I didn't mind having his damp little self on my back for the the hike back to the trailhead.

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