2017 Hike #3: MLK Day

Getting outdoors with a five year old is tricky in these cold January temperatures.  Luckily, as Monday progressed, we hit temperatures hovering right around 40 degrees, so out to the local trails we went.

This time we took a different route, up one of the old beacon hills that were used as a communications network across New Jersey out toward Pennsylvania to warn of British troop movements.

This trail is somewhat aggressive, with a mix of some glacial moraine that does not lend itself to being climbed by toddlers with autism.

Yet I am finding out more and more about my son on these little adventures.

For example, the day started out terribly from his viewpoint.  There was still a little bit of snow on the ground, and he fell - several times.  He was very displeased by the cold sensation around the wrists of his mittens and up his sleeve.  He did not like the snow sticking to the mittens either - he wanted them clean.  Double down on that as wet leaves clung to the mittens as well.

For a non-verbal child, he made his displeasure known.

However, once I brushed them off, he was back to cruising down the trail.

When we hit some of the more technical trail, I felt that I had no choice but to carry him.  There is a section that is particularly steep, and under the conditions he would have a very difficult time to proceed.

So, while I did pick him up and carry him for about 25 yards, he was one again making his displeasure known.

So, I put him down.   I still thought better of it, thinking that we still had quite a bit of climbing to do, but he was most definitely insistent, and since we were beyond the worst of it, I let him try.

Things settled down for the most part.  A couple of slips and falls but each time he got up without any fuss, and kept on trekking, doing a very good job of keeping up, although I was proceeding more slowly and cautiously than usual.

He enjoyed the long descent, which took us in long S-turns back down the mountain.

Dusk was just starting to creep in as we got back to the truck, two solitary hikers out enjoying the day.

Yeah, these hikes are pretty awesome.

The Stats:

Distance: 1.3 mi

Moving Time: 55:08

Elevation Gain: 207 ft


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