Today marks our 5th wedding anniversary! I could go on and on about how awesome Ben is (and I will do so in another post I’m working on) but what I’d really like to share is how we celebrated.
Every year, we’ve gone on a backpacking trip for our anniversary. Our first year, we went to the Enchantments outside of Leavenworth with dear friends who just got married themselves (congrats, Chris and Kay!). For our second anniversary, we went to Spider Meadows/Spider Gap which is up the Chiwawa River Valley north of Lake Wenatchee. We spent our third anniversary at Big Heart Lake outside of Skykomish. Our fourth anniversary backpacking trip had to be a car camping trip instead because I was 37 weeks pregnant – we went to Baker Lake for that one.
So what to do this year since we have an 11 month old? Take her with us! Yes, we went backpacking with a baby to celebrate our anniversary.
It. Was. Awesome.
We scoured our hiking books for something relatively close, relatively flat, but also with a treat at the end (peak, lake, etc). Goat Lake was the pick and it was a great one!
While letting Serafina have her morning nap, we packed up our gear and food for the night along with a lunch for the car ride. It worked out great because we would get to our campsite – 5 miles in – just before dinner time. That gave us time to set up camp, explore a little, play at the lake while it was still day time, and put Serafina to bed (she goes down between 6:30 and 7:00) before making ourselves dinner.
We met a super fun couple when we got up there who *literally* cheered when they saw us roll in with the baby carrier pack. A lot of people are hesitant to even talk to hikers with babies so this was a refreshing perspective. When we went down to check out the lake, they were just heading back in…from kayaking across the lake! They had brought inflatable rafts and as soon as they got to shore, offered us a turn. I said yes and made sure Ben took my picture.
When we told them we were up there for our anniversary, the guy exclaimed, “You’re totally livin’ the dream! Backpackin’ with a baby? That is so cool.” He was full of one liners that I can’t remember now but this was just the start of a fun evening/morning with them.
We put Serafina to bed – begrudgingly, however, cuz she definitely wanted to stay up and play in the giant playpen that was our tent – and made dinner. We chatted with Tim and Stephanie (cool-with-kiddos-in-camp-couple) and swapped all sorts of stories.
That’s when the thunder clapped. Uh oh.
Let’s just say we said our quick good nights and scurried to our tents. Especially Maya. She was NOT happy about it. We
enjoyed waited out the thunder and lightning for a good hour or so. It made for a wonderful soundtrack especially because Ben and I both really needed to go to the bathroom. You know, thinking about waterfalls (which we could hear when the rain abated a bit) and rain really helps when you really gotta go…but whatever.
Throughout the night, Ben and I took turns having Serafina sleep on our chest since we were too afraid she would get wet sleeping on her sleeping pad on the floor of the tent. It was definitely one of those heartwarming instances where you’re laying next to your best friend, the father of your child, with that child asleep on your chest and you are there celebrating the anniversary of the beginning of your marriage. God is so good!
The next morning, we awoke to dry weather (though not dry ground) and made my favorite backcountry breakfast: Mountain House’s Granola with Milk and Blueberries. We dismantled camp first so all we had to do was eat and go and Tim and Stephanie hiked out with us.
We had a great time even with the thunderstorm and I hope we can continue this tradition for many years. We really are livin’ the dream…all thanks to loving friends speaking truth and wisdom into our marriage, perseverance on our parts to do the hard work that keeps marriages going, and to God and His providence of bringing and keeping us together.