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May 07

Purgatory Chasm

Okay, I love baby wearing. I do. I wore Julianna all the time when she was tiny, but now that’s she’s a toddler, it’s VERY rare that she’ll sit in a carriage, let alone sit in a sling or a backpack. So I got out of the habit of bringing the carrier with me, and when I got the brilliant brainstorm on Sunday afternoon to take the kids to the Purgatory Chasm, I didn’t even think of it.   And that was a major mistake.

We googled the directions and headed off. It was just my three kids and Marc and I – but we’re definitely going back and bringing the older girls with us.  Sam was talking about how much he wanted to bring Glennys and Sarah back – he really loved it.  In the end, it was a really great experience, for a whole bunch of reasons. The older two LOVED it. Sam is a nature boy, he’s always happiest surrounded by trees and sunshine, and Jessie was the official photographer, posing the kids and taking pictures of rocks and trees. We split duties, with Marc watching the older two and me walking along with Julianna. Julie is at that awesome age, where everything, everything is fascinating and worthy of saving. I’m talking rocks, sticks, old leaves. She couldn’t take more than a step or two without being distracted by some lovely little thing and we’d have to pause, examine and pick it up to save. She’d gravely hand me her treasure and toddle on, and I’d discreetly drop it when she wasn’t looking. 

We followed the yellow path for the most part, and somewhere along the line, we migrated over to the blue path. When we started, it was a lovely little hike on a rocky path thru the woods. Challenging for Julie to navigate, but not insurmountable. But eventually, we ended up in the actual Chasm part of Purgatory Chasm – and it was then that I realized that we had made a pretty major error in taking along a toddler with no carrier. Because you really do need to climb – and having two free arms is a necessity. 

It was completely an exercise in teamwork. Not just for Marc and I, but also for the older two kids. Because they forged on ahead, working together and climbing their way thru. Marc and I went slowly, one going first, passing the baby along to the one in front and then switching places, passing her along… it was honestly a bit scary and I kept thinking to myself that I was mostly crazy to have undertaken this endeavor. But we made it out, and while I’m not attempting it again for a couple of years with the toddler, I’m sending Marc back definitely. The older two kids LOVED it and can’t wait to go back. 

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