We Are Runners

Running in mountains
Gabe leading us up a cool trail in Canada!

It’s really great being parents today. Our kids are at such cool ages where they have wonder and excitement about sites and places they have never seen. There is so much stunning beauty that they are taking in. Sonya and I hope it enlarges their hearts for nature and a healthy view of the world. I think it is happening.

One of the fun things that has been developing on this trip has been trail running. While we do like to hike with Tom Bihn backpacks, life straws and the slow pace of talking on an upward mountain hike, we also like running.

I used to run cross-country in college and loved racing through woods and logging long miles. Those were competitive (and skinny) days that I thought would fade into memories. But what do you know, it seems that we might have a little cross-country team of our own growing.

Each of the kids have great footwork on the trails and work hard on the different terrains of rocks, roots and hills we encounter. We all have Merrell Barefoot shoes that helps us feel the ground underneath and jump in creeks if we get the itch.

Today, we ran around the Little Spokane River and explored a few miles around the woods. We pushed hard up a big hill, went down into a valley and then decided to hang out at the top of a rock off the trail. We climbed and then settled in to be quiet and listen to the quiet of nature. We prayed a bit and even built a really cool little altar decorated from a pot we found up there filled with pine cones, wild flowers and all sorts of brush. We didn’t have a camera, so we all snapped a virtual pic in our minds and had a moment of silence and worship.

The cool thing is that Jadyn, our youngest, led the whole little idea, and she is so full of life. She led us back out of the woods on the trail and just ran with such freedom and grace.

I smile and feel on cloud nine. I never thought that running would make its way into my kids’ hearts. They love soccer and lacrosse, but I think they are getting a real love for running through the woods and taking in the beauty of it all.

Here are some other memorable runs we have had on our trip:

  • We yelled, hollered and blasted through the woods at Avalanche Lake at Glacier National Park to warn bears we were coming. The kids jumped into glacier streams after. I was keeping up with a daypack bouncing around my back.
  • We ran up a long trail up a mountain to see Hidden Lake in Glacier. It was hard work and the run back was much faster. We tested ourselves to see how high we could get our heart rates. It kept us warm in the mountain air.
  • At Lake Louise we weaved in and out of tourists and ran around the beautiful lake. Gabe was our frontrunner and then jumped into the freezing lake in front of everyone to cool off.
  • We ran around downtown Missoula on the Clark Ford River doing some biking, running and geocaching. It’s all an adventure. We got into the rapids and cooled off and took a drink.

We look forward to running along beaches in California and rain forests in Seattle. The neat thing is to watch how we can just get going as a family in the great outdoors anytime.

It is keeping us in shape and more importantly, keeping us together experiencing life.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah Khuu says:

    Cool article! My kids are at this perfect age, too 🙂 old enough do so much hiking and traveling – and still young enough to see everything through the eyes of a child. I was in Madagascar earlier this summer to visit my brother and the kids asked, “Next time you go to Madagascar, we want to go along!” Love that attitude! I love your FB updates and pictures so I subscribed to your blog! Happy travels and learning!


  2. Lisa says:

    What a beautiful way to experience nature with your family! I continue to be amazed by the creativity and gusto with which you and Sonya have chosen to share the world with your children. Your cross country team is quite extraordinary.


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