Idaho: Alpine Lake Hike

There are many stories without narrative. This may be one as well.

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After setting up our campsite, we pretty much read and laid around lazily while our children managed to cover themselves in dirt and marshmallows for the rest of the day. Then holed up in our tent and slept. It was the definition of vacation. The camping gods smiled upon us that day. 

The next morning, we woke up with no expectations and when we wanted, coffeed-upped, and went to the beach.

After having no real plan and after soaking up max amount of sun before moving on, we sort of just decided to go for a hike. That’s the way our family rolls. We get restless and want to keep moving. We went back to camp, got suited up for a hike, and went to the trailhead. I had already done some sussing out distances and whatnot on my run that morning, so knew we wanted to head toward Alpine Lake, an eight mile hike round trip.

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This 6-year-old did an amazing job hiking. It started to get a little hard for him, so I busted out some bribery. I told him I would give him a dollar for every mile he hiked. He had stores of energy left after that little tidbit of information came out. It’s a trick I learned from my own father. Some parenting hacks are ageless. Don’t judge.

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I packed Lady H in, uphill. She slept for a good hour or so. When we travel she will not nap in her bed, so packing her in this Manduca has proven to be infinitely worth the $15 I paid for it second-hand. I have hiked her in it across Thailand, Hong Kong, Borneo, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Idaho–every time getting those naps that are worth more than my hiking shoes.

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When she decided to peak out and get a good view of the mountains, she was pretty happy. I was happy to have a little buddy to chat with, too. I love how excited she is about all the things she can see. She did want to walk, but by the time she woke up we were in some gnarly terrain and I had to squelch that desire for a bit.

The final kick to the Alpine Lake was fairly steep, then a slight descent into the lake. We did start our hike in the afternoon, so we didn’t have loads of time once we arrived. I let Lady H out of the pack to run around and get her legs back. Then the horseflies made their appearance, loving our sweaty bodies. We didn’t last long there–took a few pictures, and headed back down.

Little G and I continued on the game that Mr. G taught him of ‘doubling back,’ an old cowboy trick when being pursued in the mountains. We ran ahead of Mr. G, hid in the mountains, and then let him go by. Of course then we sneak up on him and scare the bejeezers out of him. It’s an awesome trick to get your kid to trail run and enjoy the hike a bit more.It got him down the mountain with few complaints. We also brought snacks to ‘power up’ as my son refers to it. That also helps.

Lady H walked the last few kilometers before getting back to the car. She maneuvered the rocks and roots like a boss.

We did the 8 miles in 3 hours, 15 minutes.

A long, hot day in the mountains warranted some much-deserved s’mores for the kids and beers for the grown-ups.

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In the morning, we packed up and headed to the Kirkham Hot Springs to soak the sore muscles. Heck, yes. Nothing like a good hotspring post-hike.

Bracing myself for the hella HOT hotsprings. 

Happy hiking and stay rad!

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