Sitka, Alaska – On our last day, we rallied the troops for one last hike in the wilds of Southeast Alaska. After much hemming and hawing, we opted for the Indian River Trail, which is recommended for its easy terrain and the lovely Indian River Falls at the terminus. Unfortunately, it’s approximately 4.5 miles to the terminus (and 4.5 miles back, presumably) so I was pretty sure we weren’t going to make it there.
But our options were limited due to lack of transportation, so we set out on the Indian Creek Trail anyway, with no intention of going the whole way. It was a cool cloudy day. The mountains were shrouded in mist. I felt like the mysterious Fog Woman was embracing us and bidding us farewell as we traversed her forests and fields for the last time.
Twin S moves at his own pace (which is much faster than the rest of us), so we lost him almost immediately. This is always a little troubling. (What if he meets a bear? What if he loses the trail?) But I am actually thrilled that he is independent and curious enough to go off on his own, so I exercise my trust muscles and let him go.
I do allow myself the comfort of asking everyone we meet: “Did you see my kid up ahead?” And they always answer yes, with some estimate of how far ahead he is.
On this particular hike, we did not know how far we were going. I mean, we knew we would turn around before we got to the end–but we didn’t know exactly where. And so I worried about if and when S would stop and wait for us. But he didn’t show up.
And then it started to drizzle. Not that rain is a deterrent. The twins play outside in the rain all the time, and they barely notice it. So he still didn’t show up.
Then we started to get hungry. Surely S would come looking for lunch. But he still didn’t show up.
Finally we came to a series of bridges, which I remembered seeing on a map at the trailhead. We had had a discussion about how the bridges were around the halfway mark and maybe that was a good turnaround point. But he wasn’t at the first bridge. Or the second. We finally found S sitting on the third bridge, legs dangling over the side, looking a little smug.
He insisted that we were the ones who said we were hiking to the third bridge, complete with eyeroll. Maybe he was right.
By now, everybody was hungry and happy, so we munched on our sandwiches and compared stories, and then set out for the return home.
But our adventure wasn’t over yet. Because that’s when it started to rain. I mean, not just the teasing drizzle it was doing before, but a real torrential downpour. And it continued the entire way home.
Good thing we had all that rain gear at home in our suitcases.
As we neared the house, soaked to the bone, I stated: “Anyone who doesn’t take a hot shower when we get home is crazy.”
And then the twins both looked at me as if I were crazy. And nobody took a shower. Except for me.
I am thinking about changing this blog to Have Tweens, Will Travel. What do you think?