ROCK AND ROLL
Despite the late start, it felt good being on the trail again. Normally we would’ve been out and about looking for weekend hikes earlier in the year, but in trying to raise the daughter, those took a back seat until we were confident in her ability to be a cooperate participant.
For most of the beginning of the trail, it was smooth going. The path was paved as we remembered it, and it was mostly flat. However, both Julie and I were a little out-of-shape so we did feel some of the slightest inclines as we were pushing the stroller.
Tahia was between drowsy and wide awake. When she was awake, she would look outside her stroller and see trees and bush flanking the trail. I’m sure they must’ve been strange shapes and things she had never seen before. She definitely seemed curious about what she was seeing. Julie and I wonder what she could be thinking as she would stare quietly alert taking it all in.
But just as we thought it was going to be a walk in the park, we started to see mud and puddles up ahead. While they wouldn’t seem like anything when we were walking alone, with the stroller, it was another story.
I offered to carry the stroller with Tahia in it to keep the wheels from getting stuck in the mud. But we eventually found a way around the worst parts though the wheels did end up caked in mud. I don’t think the 4-wheel stroller we used was meant to endure conditions like this.
It’s funny how selective our memories are or how much we take for granted when it was just us two on the trail. For all we recalled was that the trail was paved and easy, and there was no reason why we couldn’t take Tahia in a stroller this time around when the time came.
But little did we realize that there were these obstacles on parts of the trail (like where the road was beat up a little and mud inundated some parts complete with little ponds). Our stroller was taking a bit of a beating, and with the bumpiness of the ride, I’m sure Tahia must’ve felt like she was offroading in a 4wd. Julie and I began to wonder if Tahia would even make it to her first waterfall for it was clear we underestimated some of the obstacles we might find.
Further along the trail, we saw other people hiking with strollers, but those strollers were three wheelers and they seemed to have more rugged wheels. I believe those were joggers, and it was obvious to us at that point that perhaps we should’ve used a jogger ourselves instead of testing our urban stroller beyond its expected operating environment.
At least we were getting reaction from some of the fellow hikers we passed by as they saw Tahia looking cute as always. But one lady did mention that we wouldn’t be able to take the stroller all the way to the waterfall so it was a good thing that we brought a baby bjorn along just in case.
But with all the bumpiness of the ride, I think it soothed Tahia to sleep. I was still holding out hope that Tahia would witness her first waterfall.
Eventually, we made it to the familiar site of the burned Robert’s Ranch home. And sure enough, we were confronted with steps beyond the house. There was no way we could take the stroller along at that point so after a bit of a discussion, we finally opted to leave the stroller behind and take the sleeping Tahia in the baby bjorn up to the waterfall.
After getting past most of the steps, I started to wonder if taking her along the suddenly narrow trail became a wise move. For one spill into one of the minor drop offs I’m sure could mean Tahia gets seriously hurt or killed.
Or maybe we had to get used to the idea of hazards on the trail and be extra cautious (maybe bring hiking sticks next time for balance). But bringing a two-month-old girl might have been pushing the boundaries a bit on the minimum age of participation…
Nonetheless, all three of us did make it to the waterfall. But it was too bad Tahia won’t remember this waterfall as she was still asleep and wasn’t in the mood to wake up. So we snapped what photos we could to show Tahia at her first waterfall hopefully one day when she gets old enough to appreciate it. Then, we quickly got out of the danger zone and back to the Roberts Ranch property where we hoped the stroller was still waiting for us.
As tempting as it was to scrambling down towards the stream for a better look at the falls, I decided against it since it certainly wasn’t worth risking Tahia’s life (even though the falls did seem to flow much more heavily than I had ever seen it before).
At 3:15pm, we were back at the stroller. We took Tahia out of the bjorn and put her back into the comfy stroller ride.
About 15 minutes later, Tahia briefly woke up to the sound of frogs croaking somewhere in the stream away from the paved path. But with the bumpy sections to traverse again, it wasn’t much longer before Tahia fell back asleep.
At 3:55pm, we finally made it back to the car. Tahia started to fuss again, but Julie and I were famished and knew that Malibu Seafood was just around the corner. We looked forward to the meal.