“Hardcore” Adventuring with a six-year old

Reloading the blaster Tobey's turn Tobey & Cobi Flowin' Little boy and little boatsMy husband and I love to adventure! It fulfills our souls and keeps us in touch with our true selves. However, with a six-year old in tow we have to keep our “hardcore” tame enough for him to join in the fun. We rock climb, hike, bike, ski, and most recently, pack raft.

To keep him motivated we role-play Star Wars scenes, I am either Princess Leah, or my personal favorite, Unikitty. He guides me in all the scenes, hands me stick weapons, I hold his used ones. I go along wherever we are: in the forest, on the rocks, in the boat…often we are on the forest moon of Endor or the desert planet of Tatooine. He is either Luke, Anakin, or Obi Wan Kenobi. He keeps up with me as long as we play. Otherwise blubbering, slow feet, and whining are the torture.

Two weeks ago we put our pack rafts in the Skykomish River in Monroe, WA and floated to Snohomish, the next town down river. As the crow flies the two towns are about 8 miles apart, less than 15 minutes drive. We were on the river for four and a half hours.

What was most amazing is how close the wilderness is once we set off on the river. Immediately after leaving the shore I felt stressed from the risks of cold water, if we had a problem with our boats, or if we forgot anything. We were out there with no quick savior like a grocery store. We pulled over, topped the boats off due to air molecules contracting because of the cold water; we connected on being safe and put on more layers. Even though this was only Class I whitewater, the temperatures and remoteness was the notch that put us into “extreme”.

We enjoyed the warm sun, the swift water, and the close wilderness while keeping it safe, positive and smart. It was fascinating to travel via a meandering river, in terrain we drive daily. We were turned around more than once as we floated past town landmarks that are normally on the opposite side of town.

As we walked the block from the river to our house, we felt proud of our feat. Proud that we can give our son a wilderness experience in our backyard. We were relieved we kept it safe. We felt satisfied that we connected the dots of travel via the rivers. We felt like “Extreme” parents, it was a serious family adventure, especially in our jet fighter escape pods saving planet Earth.

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