He's only 10 - though he'll quickly remind us that he's a young adult (!!) - so it's pretty low key training, but he has a couple of goals he's working towards. He wants to hike the 15K option at the Ironmasters Challenge in a month.
He is also working on the Boy Scout hiking merit badge. The requirements for this are pretty steep so it will require hard work on his part. And we're all too happy to help him reach those goals.
So he and I looked at the calendar and made a little training plan with hikes of varying and increasing distances.
The good thing - he could probably easily hike 10 miles today because he's an active kid and we hike on a regular basis.
Not so good - we don't typically have him carry a pack and he struggles at pushing himself sometimes.
So yesterday I got out his pack and put in just a few things that he'll need to get used to carrying - first aid kit, small headlamp, extra socks, rain poncho, compass, and flint and steel. And I attached one water bottle. I forgot to weigh it, but it wasn't heavy at all... well, Shane added a bunch of snacks so maybe it was slightly heavy?
I decided to hike at Reno Monument on the AT because it's mostly flat and not very rocky. A little over a mile to the Rocky Run shelter, hang out and play, and then hike back for almost 3 miles. Excellent!
Two false starts for forgotten items and we were off. Not even half a mile in, Hank was ready to pass off the pack so I took it.
Spring is trying to arrive!
We got to Rocky Run and the kids had a few snack and played.
They have 2 shelters - the new built a few years ago
And the old one built by the CCC during the depression
Sweet hike, lots of fun.
Then the winds changed.
The kids were running up the hill to head back and Shane crashed, hard. He landed in a bunch of rocks on his hips and knees, and the blood-curdling scream that followed was probably heard for miles.
Thankfully, there was no blood, and no bones were poking out. He doesn't usually scream like that unless he has broken something so I was a tad concerned. I was well over a mile from the truck with a 50 pound kid who couldn't walk.
We still needed to stop at the dairy and Ella had an orthodontist appointment so we couldn't just sit around in hopes that he'd feel better soon.
We dumped half our water to lighten our load. I gave the remaining bottles to Ella to carry, and Hank got the pack. I put Shane on my back - thankfully his hips were ok and it was just his knee that hurt because I don't think I could have carried him on the front of me for very long.
It turned out he was fine...swollen and bruised, but fine.
The good that came out of this was that Hank had no choice but to carry the pack, and he did it. He was lagging in the last bit so he gave it to Ella... who looked like a cheerful little hobbit and skipped along with no trouble at all, but that's a post for another day...