Years of anticipation. So many desired and delayed adventures. Then it all seemed to happen all at once.
2008 Kym dating Will, “Kids some day? Yes?”
Summer 2019 “Let’s start training for an ambitious adventure.”
It would take a couple years to build up to it, but the dream was a Grade IV climbing expedition. That’s typically defined as a full 12+ hour day of technical 5th Class climbing. These types of adventures also often involve rugged backpacking approach to the base of the climb.
We made a training plan and scheduled a preparatory training trip to Red Rocks Nevada for the following April.
Winter 2019 “If we’re ever going to do this family thing, we’re running out of time.”
There is no perfect time to have a baby. We would never be as ready as we wanted to be. We had gotten to a now or never time in our lives. So commenced a monthly cycle of trying, waiting… and nothing.
March 2020… well, you know. The world came to a halt and forever changed. Losing our big April climbing trip was the least of our concerns.
February 2021 “Hello, I’d like to make an appointment…” I tried to avoid the word, but there’s something really poignant when the medical receptionist bluntly says “You want an infertility consultation?” Hard swallow. “Yes.”
March 2020 “Screw it! Let’s do an April climbing road trip to the Red River Gorge Kentucky!”
And then we became eligible for COVID vaccines. And the soonest we could get them was smack in the middle of our trip. So we didn’t go. So we started planning a different trip for August.
April 12th 2021 – My 39th birthday and second pandemic birthday. We were supposed to be climbing in Kentucky. And then we were supposed to be climbing in Minnesota, but it was too rainy. So at least we could drink fun craft beers on our front step. I took a pregnancy test just to check, expecting nothing because that’s what it always was.
“Ummmmm…. Will? Come take a look at this. Do you see a second line?”
“Yes.” With a grin.
“Damn. No beer for me. Wait, yay? Yay! Yay?” It was a little hard to wrap my mind around it. It still is.
Parenting will be the most challenging, disruptive, rewarding, Type 2 Fun adventure ever. All the more reason to finally get to have some version of our COVID delayed adventure. Something that would challenge us in the ways we were most familiar with. Something that would remind us of our competence. Something to help us feel rooted in the lifestyle we want to be able to share with our child.
We would road trip from our home in Minneapolis Minnesota to Lander Wyoming. The plan was for a short 5 day backpacking trip in the Wind River Range as well as exploring some of the rock climbing in the area. We knew we couldn’t be as ambitious as we otherwise would be. Yet we also knew that pregnant or not, this level of challenge would be well within our reach. We had the skills, fitness, experience, and gear to make this adventure an acceptable level of risk for us.
We ended up with a fun easy 52 miles of backpacking and some “fun” of rain, hail, more hail, lightning, wind, and a broken tent. It was perfect.
Next post: Fun Layers (AKA Wind River Adventure in Three Parts) This is where all the best pictures are 😉