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Wendy Almeida

Wendy Almeida wrote about enjoying the outdoors with kids in her monthly Kid Tracks Outdoors column for the Maine Sunday Telegram for more than 10 years. Her kids have grown up exploring the trails of Maine on foot, skis and bikes as well as through the Geocaching and EarthCache games. The family has found treasures of all sorts while out on the trail and the journey continues to be as much fun now that the kids are teenagers as it was when they were preschoolers. Follower on Twitter @wea1021 and Instagram instagram.com/wea1021

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Posted: August 12, 2013

9 learnings on the hiking trail

Written by: Wendy Almeida

My teenagers and I set out to hike Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch a few weeks ago. Our goal was to stop for lunch at the Lonesome Lake AMC Hut and continue to the summit. However, things didn’t work out quite as planned.

Here are 9 things I learned (or more accurately, re-learned) on this hike.

1. Hiking with kids is not always predictable – particularly in the supplies needed-department – even when they are teenagers.

2. Teenagers might fall in mud accidentally but it is just as messy as when they were preschoolers. Only this time mom doesn’t have that change of clothes (or socks) she always used to carry for her babies.

3. The Lonesome Lake Hut sell socks!

4. The hut only takes cash (which is, of course, obvious). Thankfully I had exactly the right amount of cash (down to the last four quarters – and why we had (heavy) quarters instead of (light) bills is still a mystery) to buy a pair of clean socks AND the coveted Lonesome Lake Hut patch the girls wanted for their backpacks.

5. Muddy hiking boots – then dipped in a lake to wash off (with feet still in them, which mom did not recommend but was done anyhow) – do not dry in the sun in an hour.

6. Hiking up the trail in squishy, soaking wet hiking boots is not a good time for a hiker.

7. Changing plans and turning around to head home after lunch rather than visit the summit is a good choice for everyone in the hiking party.

8. Each hiker should be responsible to pack a clean pair of socks in their backpack.

9. Everyone should bring their sense of humor to the mountain. I can’t remember a time I didn’t need to pull that particular item out of the pack at least once during a hike!

 Exhibit 1: Hiker’s self-portrait of muddy faux pas…
…and solution to the problem.
Exhibit 2: Younger sibling trying to contain laughter for having navigated the mud with less mess
(and replay the video she took – that is not allowed to be shared) of her sibling screaming about falling in the mud).
Exhibit 3: New ($13) socks from the AMC hut.
Exhibit 4: An hour in the sun (without feet in them) does not dry soaked hiking boots but you still need to put them back on anyway. Thankfully a silly swimmer can make the hiking party smile and therefore all seems well again.
ON ANOTHER NOTE….
It is possible to be photo bombed by a dragonfly, just in case you were wondering.
If you’re interested in hiking to the Lonesome Lake AMC Hut, check out our terrain map (with photos) of our hike.
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