Sunday night thoughts about hiking and marriage

view of Mt Washington from Speckled Mountain

We hiked Speckled Mountain this weekend. I think there are as many Speckled Mountains in Maine as there are Bald & Blueberry (with a Moose pond along the trail). Let's just say it's a popular mountain name. The one we hiked yesterday was the Caribou Speckled Mtn. Wilderness, part of the White Mountain National Forest.

After working steadily for a year on getting out almost every weekend to hike, backcountry sled, or visit a lake or ocean we have quite a routine down. When we're hiking we try to do at least 5 or 6 miles in the mountains so we have to leave fairly early in the morning (the good hikes with that distance are 1-2 hrs away from us). This latest development means Damien prepares easy food (I'll write a post someday about that) the night before, we get our packs all ready in advance and often eat a homemade breakfast on the road.

Summit of  Speckled Mountain
Summit of Speckled Mountain

The work of getting out the door, years in the making really, is well worth the effort. And since having my hiking/camping crisis in early August I've been once again enjoying vigorous outdoor activity with new enthusiasm and joy. Maybe I reached a turning point. A realization there is no going back from here. The outdoors is a lifestyle for us, this is who my husband and children are (my son misses the woods by mid week) and I need to embrace this fully to not be left behind as my family climbs higher and farther - quite literally.

Or maybe it's just the cooler temps and dying bugs that renews my hope and vigor. I don't know why exactly but I'm happy to say the last month has been great. Even last weekend's hike at Tumbledown Mountain, a Maine favorite, was spectacular in spite of the light rain.

look for the little people, that's my family
look for the little people, that's my family

I am beginning to love this part of who we are and who I am becoming. I also love having a husband who sews. He didn't always, but finding gear suitable for children (especially) is difficult so he applied his engineering mind to the problem and came up with sewing as the solution. I love this man! I'm amazed at anyone who can follow a sewing pattern so I'm awed with the projects he's been tackling. His latest was this windbreaker for Brienne.

My life is so enriched by knowing you Damien and I'm very thankful for all the wonderful experiences you've brought into my life. (Ahh.. and it's not even our anniversary or your birthday).

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  • kyndale

    kyndale on Sept. 21, 2009, 2:44 p.m.

    I love that you get outdoors every weekend! It's true, once you marry a outdoorsy man, there's no turning back, it's become a part of you too. I love all your pictures! I too am blessed to know my husband and I am so happy to know that we are all growing as a family unit. Happy Monday! p.s. Even though WE were sick this weekend, Jonathan took the boys for a hike! You gotta love it. I think it's good for kids to get outdoors when they're cleans out their lungs and gets them movin'


  • nicola

    nicola on Sept. 21, 2009, 3:27 p.m.

    fabulous post. you and damien are amazing, individually and as a team! the "getting outdoors" each weekend is something we have been working on for some months now, too. something happened in July to finally propel us forward, and just a simple (or complex) outing together each weekend makes an amazing difference for a family, don't you think? i am glad to again read of this being a work in progress for you, because, given damien's outdoor tendencies, it is helpful to know you still have had to work your way to where you are. and it is paying off! i can see so much will be more doable our kids get a little bigger. nicola

    nicola's last blog post... party


  • Denise

    Denise on Sept. 21, 2009, 10:53 p.m.

    Renee - could we do like a wife/mommy swap some day so that you could inform my kids that hiking is fun? seriously. I live in such a beautiful area and we are not out exploring. I am insanely jealous of your kids attitudes towards hiking.

    on another note - would you consider doing a post on how your kids respond to your eating style. I know you eat mostly vegan. How do the kids like that? I am sure like the hiking they are just accustomed to it.


  • Jenn

    Jenn on Sept. 22, 2009, 5:21 a.m.

    my son is also made for the outdoors...we all love it, but he belongs there! he pushes us all to our limits and wants to keep going on those hikes...further, higher, more! oh, that boy. i'll be a worry-wart when he moves out and is on his own!! :0)

    that picture from the top looking down on your family is absolutely beautiful...oh, i wish i could've been there! and there are no mountains here, we have to drive quite far to get to them and we just don't. :( sigh....that is my dream, to live in or near the mountains....


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