A Family Hike

Last week my family and I went on a hike. Our different personalities come through on our hikes. So, I give you my family on a hike.


SJ (our 6 year old) is not quite your prototypical hiker. He is chunky, tires quickly, and is very content to watch television and play with his trains. He is, however, a good trooper and enjoys playing outside, so he is ultimately game for a hike.

Every time we take a hike I worry that at some point I will be carrying SJ. That was not a big deal when he was three and thirty five pounds but when last weighed, he registered 80 – the typical weight for a 10 year old.

My worries went unfounded. SJ showed great determination and finished the 2.5 mile hike all on his own. He asked to be carried a couple of times but instead gutted it out. In fact he kept repeating, “I am strong I am brave.”  I was proud of my little big guy.


BR (who turns 9 on Tuesday) has never requested we go on a hike, and I am not sure he ever will. Yet, he seems to enjoy the hikes each time. I can imagine him being very into hiking when he is an adult.

At this point the future hiker enjoys finding walking sticks and insists on being first. What a typical first born!

BR moved briskly through the hike. While we took breaks, he never seemed to need one. His one goal seems to finish as fast as possible. Throughout the hike, BR told me repeatedly, “I’m doing things the hard way.” Then he would climb under a fallen tree, or over a massive branch, or through a space that were not meant to be gotten through.

BR leading SJ & me along the trail. Photography credit: Wife


I feel no need to look at the map. I am content to simply follow the trail. I always start our hikes very energetic and think that we are making great time. Then, I am convinced the hike must be longer than what we were told because there is no way it could be taking this long. In fact, on the hike last week, I had SJ looking out for our car 20 minutes too early.

I have the job of facilitator.  I need to make sure BR does not get too far ahead. I need to make sure SJ and my wife are close behind. In addition, I need to be there to provide a hand should one be required.


My wife searches out where to go hiking and is ultimately the map holder. Each hike always has at least one time where my wife whips out the map. I am sure based on the look of panic in her fact that during this moment of uncertainty my wife gives us no better than 50-50 odds of ever finding our way back to the car. I refuse to look despite her insistence and instead ask her afterwards what she learned from the map.

She is also the one who determines when we will take a break (unless SJ demands a drink). This only makes sense as she packs the snacks.

Another one of her jobs – self-appointed – is the photographer. She loves to take pictures and insists on cataloging every meaningful moment, attractive scene that comes along. The rest of us moan about it but then want to see the pictures.

There you have my Swiss Family Robinson. Nature lovers we are. Maybe we should get rid of the car and hike everywhere. Naaah.


31 thoughts on “A Family Hike

  1. We love a good family hike! My 6yo has the same personality as your oldest boy. (Maybe it is a first-born thing!) And I sound a lot like your wife, especially with all the photo-ops!! It’s a woman thing. We love capturing the beauty.

    • I think the oldest and the woman thing are pretty common. How about your husband? Do you also see similarities there? Anyway, it works on the hikes for us and I hope you can say the same.

  2. Which one of you dances around and anxiously examines everyone for ticks? That’s my job. I’m the official tick-hater.

    • Hmmm. No one has that job. However, I think it would fall in my wife’s domain.
      We should be careful about that. I have known 2 people who have had lyme disease.

  3. Fun post Larry! Hikes can certainly show peoples personalities and I think your family’s different characteristics all work really well together!!! Great photo!

    • Yes, you see I do have photos. Thank you very much.
      They do work well together – sometimes. Maybe, one day I’ll post about when they don’t work well together and maybe I won’t.

  4. I wish we went hiking. It sounds like so much fun! We have a nature center one town over – so about 30 minutes away – and it’s on my list of places to visit! I’m glad that you guys have family activities like that! Such good memories. I just love BR doing things the hard way! That’s just awesome!

    • It is sometimes (BR doing things the hard way that is)>
      I hope you guys make the hike soon. From what you have told me, you seem like car people.

  5. Nature lovers! 🙂 hiking is a great activity with the family and as a couple! when I was a kid, my parents used to bring us hiking very often and for some weird reason I always pretended I did not enjoy our walks when I really did! (maybe I was a bit like BR, I am the first born too!) When I got older, I used to ask for them and when I met my husband we used to go for hikes very often too! 🙂 I love walking and running (but I injured myself a few years ago while running down a hill) I’m glad you guys enjoy your time together as a family! it’s funny but I’m more like your wife: I hold the map and say when the break is due (I hold the snacks too) 🙂 & hubby is a lot like you, he enjoys his hike and makes sure everyone is doing well! & of course, I take the pictures too! I can’t wait to go hiking with my son but now he’s too young! 😉

    • It is fun to go hiking. However, it is very different to go as a family as compared to when I was single or when it was my wife and I. I am glad the boys are into it.

  6. This gave me a few good laughs, especially the “I am doing things the hard way” attitude of your son. Very adventurous! The picture thing sounds very much like my family, except the kids adore the camera and will strike a pose even if a bear was chasing them.

  7. We love to hike. We always find something new. And someone always wants to be carried. Sometimes, I admit, it’s me.

    • Your last line gave me a smile. I think my wife would appreciate that sentiment. Anyway, hiking is a great family activity for us.

  8. This experience sounds very familiar! My middle son used to be “Husky.” A few years ago, we went on a bike trail that was about 10 miles. My youngest could out pedal him. Anyhow, my husband was at the front of the pack and I got tired of staying behind my middle son constantly encouraging him to not quit, to keep going, to go faster, to stay on his bike and not walk it. So I went in front of him. I didn’t know what to do. I rode up to my husband and and asked him if we should slow down for him (he was 10 at the time). “No, he’ll catch up. He wants to quit. I’m not going to let that happen.” In the background I hear him screaming, “Dad!!!!…..Dad!!! Wait!!! You’re the daddy who doesn’t like children!!!”
    Eventually he caught up and we tried to contain our smiles. Needless to say, he is fit and active now. We also bought him a new geared bike, which he loves.

    • I am glad he caught up – it sounds like he has done so in many ways now. I hope that my younger boy will catch up too. If this hike is any indication, he is well on his way. He is determined.

  9. What a well written post! Sounds like a great hike! We like hiking too, but lately we have been doing more running than hiking.
    Oh, and our firstborn is sooo in need of being first too! It can be quite stressful at times. A while back I noticed him and his sister continuously passing each other on a narrow sidewalk, until she just said matter-of-factly: “I’ll just be second, that’s OK too.” And I thought, – how much easier you get through life when you are OK with being second! Really!

    • It really was a great hike.
      My younger boy can be competitive at times too, but ultimately the older one pushes himself forward. The younger one is going to be bigger but he is soft. We’ll see how it plays out.

  10. Nature lovers … somehow this completely contradicted what I thought of your family fun time. I have this image of you city guys doing city stuff and nature happens when you hit a park. Good to hear that your kids get to get out of the city and your wife gets to document the whole thing 🙂

    • We do like the park and nature. I also love the city.
      I am sorry to make things complicated for you. Stretch that mind miss.

  11. I like this one. It is a beautiful and nice depiction of your family, the new Swiss Family Robinson. Your wife as navigator is wonderful. I love reading maps myself and have two on my iPad, even though I have a navigator.

    It is wonderful seeing the way you describe the temperament of each person in your family on hiking day. I sat here before my computer and laughed a lot. I believe it is something that the four of you do together that all of you enjoy and will never forget.
    Hiking is one of your family’s treasured moments.

    Great post.

    • Glad it made you laugh – I love to make people laugh!
      Hiking is definitely a thing we enjoy doing together and I hope that it gets even better as SJ gets more into it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *