Morton Arboretum

For the first time ever, we did a family themed Halloween. Zoe was a hiker, Ellie a park ranger, Zak was a mauled hiker, and I was a bear. Pretty fun! We had to dig through the rubbermaid in the garage labeled “hiking stuff” to put together pieces of the costumes. And without even realizing it, we were all slapped with a huge desire to hike again. Maybe it was finding the tiny rocks from Yellowstone at the bottom of our shoes, or the fine sand from the desert in our expensive hiking socks, or maybe it was all the planning and purchasing that we’ve done the last few week for Road Trip 2016. Regardless, we woke up this morning with only laundry on the agenda and decided to to head over to Morton Arboretum to hike the trails there.

In spite of yesterday’s, pitiful rainy trick-or-treating, it was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day. We hiked around the entire east and west sides, saw a plethora of variety of trees, and were pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds. It was just a near-perfect day. (I could of done with a bit less complaining from Z and E. And they have forgotten how to walk in the straight line and kept walking RIGHT in front of me. Goals to work on…)

So, now with just over 200 days until we leave for the next trip, we are psyched!

Go back to earlier in the post, I mentioned that we have done a lot of shopping recently. Here’s why: We have decided to step it up a level and take this whole road trip thing into unchartered territory. We are adding the element of backpack camping. Me! Seriously, me! What the hell? We spent a couple of hours with the kindest, most informed guy at REI last weekend and picked the tents, the sleeping bags, and the sleeping mats we want. It’s a big purchase, like a really, really big purchase, so we are going to try to camp 8 or so nights rather than the original 4 planned. The sleeping bags actually arrived on Friday (thanks to our now ONE day Amazon Prime!) and we are thinking of testing out all the gear in a couple of weeks. Who in the world are we?!?!? Who have we become? And why are we having THIS much fun together?

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