My baby’s first hike was a great success right up to the point where we found ourselves covered in poop and talking to the police.
At age 7 weeks, Saskia and I had a few outings and short walks under our belts. It was time to take our first steps off-road. So we met my friend Rachael and her 6-week-old daughter Tuesday at the Colorow Road entrance to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The babies conked out the minute we started walking, and everyone was content for a short trip. We hiked east through snow-puffed groves of gambel oaks and sparkling meadows to This Is The Place Heritage Park.
We headed back to the university celebrating a small triumph. Outdoor time is an important family value for my husband and me. Getting Saskia outside isn’t just a cure for cabin fever; it’s the start of an education, the start of something I want to pass down. A couple of miles in the foothills may not sound ambitious, but every step on a trail right now feels like progress in a larger journey.
That journey suffered a setback at the trail head.
Both of our cars had been broken into and our diaper bags stolen!
We had prepared for the hazards of the trail, and we deliberately stayed close to the trail head in case of a diaper situation; the plan was simply to go back to the cars and change in the backseat if necessary.
It hadn’t occurred to me that the interior of my car might be covered with glass, or that the diapers might not be there.
While Rachael was on the phone with police, both babies filled their pants (and beyond). My baby started to cry for food. Her bottles had been stolen with the diaper bag. While an officer investigated the scene, Rachael’s husband drove out with some diapers and clean clothes. We frantically changed my daughter in the back of his truck. It was an explosion like I’d never seen.
My eyes glazed over as I assessed the situation: It’s freezing, my child is hungry and I can’t feed her, my wallet has been stolen along with my phone and glasses, and our two babies are sobbing in a hellscape of poop and broken glass.
"We’ve hit the bottom, right?" I asked. "This is as bad as it gets, right?"
Probably not. Saskia has a lifetime of trails ahead of her. That means she’ll get lost, she’ll get hurt, she’ll get tired and hungry and cold. But I’ll bet all the money in my stolen wallet that our second hike will go better than the first.
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