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Hiking with a Toddler in Tow

Greetings from Ohio! Sheesh, it is so, SO pretty here. Mountains! Fresh air! Trees! Cliffs! Caves! Streams! Rivers! Critters! (In case you’re in Northern or Western Ohio and you’re all “The hell?” I must clarify we are in Hocking Hills. Pretty much the most diverse and amazing place I’ve been to since living in Utah. True story.) Anyway, we’re here on a sort of “media” family trip, experiencing all there is to offer and reporting back to you fine people on the other side of the screen who may someday want to take a simple little getaway to nature.

The weather here this week is the kind of weather that is just cool enough for your favorite sweater but warm enough that all the snot stays in your nose. Add in the changing leaves and we’re in fall heaven. One of the activities that was arranged for us was a hike led by a naturalist up to some caves and through a nature preserve. Knowing we had a little person in tow they went easy on us, about an hour total.

How was stumblefoot Vivi at hiking? Kind of terrible, she kept trying to launch herself off cliffs. Thankfully we had a pretty sweet solution.

Cody wore that baby (yes, she’s our baby, back off) all the way up the mountain, through caves and tunnels and right on back down. As long as she was strapped to her dad she was a happy little critter, it was when we let her down that she headed straight for the cliffs, it must be fun to be completely unaware of gravity. Cody was complaining about missing his workout today when I reminded him packing and extra 27 pounds up a mountain is no easy feat.

Huge shout out to Jim and Joe of Hocking Hills Adventure Treks for taking us (literally) off the beaten path. Want to know what happens when you hike with a naturalist? They show you what plants you can eat and then feed them to you. They also aren’t afraid to dig in the dirt, turn over logs or pick up bugs. Our guide even told Cody “Dude, that was impressive, you’ve raised the bar for any other person who ever comes on this hike.”

That’s my dude, raising the bar, one toddlerwearing hike at a time.

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Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.

Check out our other Ohio adventure at the COSI in Columbus!

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