rattlesnake ridge

It was the weekend after John went back to work. All week long, Colin & I had been looking forward to spending time with him again. We decided we wanted to get out of the city and explore the mountains, as a family. Something simple (less than an hour away) and accessible to beginners. We’re hardly experienced hikers.

Earlier this summer, we spent a week in Colorado with college friends. One day we drove into the Rockies to hike a few miles in Estes Park. It was gorgeous. And a lot harder than I expected. Mostly because I was carrying Colin in the Baby Bjorn and by the end of the hike, my back was a mess.

After that trip, John & I agreed we wanted to do a lot more hiking once we moved to the Pacific Northwest. So after we moved here, I started researching a better hiking carrier for my not-so-little guy. [my back was not going to allow me to hike in the Baby Bjorn again… OUCH]. We settled on this backpack. It was an investment, yes, but I had read many reviews that said Kelty was the only way to go. And since we’re planning to take up hiking as a hobby, I’m hoping this backpack will get lots of use. It’s good up to 50 pounds so we certainly have time to get our money’s worth!

We loaded up the backpack, packed a lunch, and drove 45 beautiful minutes into the mountains to get to Rattlesnake Ridge.

Rattlesnake Ridge was recommended because of its proximity to Seattle, stunning views & being very child-friendly. We figured if it was recommended for kids (and dogs!) that it would be great for our first hike in the Cascades!

Hah. It was a lot harder than I anticipated. The ascent doesn’t quit. It’s pretty intense for those 2 miles… no breaks… just incline.

And to make me feel even worse, I was getting passed left & right by kids (and dogs)! I definitely felt very new in town. My hiking skills & endurance have a lot of room for improvement.

But this guy thought it was a piece of cake! He was having a great time in the backpack… chatting like a madman, while Dad did all the heavy lifting.

After about 1.5 hours of incline, we made it to the top! It was SO worth it.

We took a break for lunch at the top. Quite the view…

… and then began our descent. Much more my speed! In total it took us about 2.5 hours [including the lunch stop and a half dozen breaks for me to rest & complain about getting lapped by small children.]

My only real complaint [besides being out of shape]: it’s a very popular trail which means lots of people on a beautiful summer day. If we come back again [I hope we do!] we’ll get an earlier start for sure, to try to beat the crowd.

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