Monday, March 31, 2014

Douthat State Park

This week is known in my wife's family as "the week in the mountains," since my brother-in-law's wife's mother's extended family goes to Douthat State Park every year. Did that relationship make your head spin? Since we are in the area, we joined them.

The last time we did this, we used a specialty baby carrier backpack from Phil and Ted. We've taken it to Canada, Mexico, and a few other places. It's more like your traditional internal frame backpacks, just with a baby compartment (and integrated feet so it stays upright when you set it down). They've since updated the model a bit, but you can see from our pictures taken while climbing the Mayan Ruins at Kohunlich that it is a very stable & reliable backpack. But we forgot to bring it with us this time. Which, considering that we had planned on hiking every day on one of the several trails at the park, kind of complicates things.

So we stopped by Target and test-fit an ERGObaby Baby Carrier in Galaxy Grey. The first thing that strikes you about the design is that it's really, really compact. While it seems like it's just backpack straps and a hip belt, it really is well made and comfortable. Three great things about it: 

  1. You can actually feel the baby breathing 
  2. It can be worn in front or behind the adult, and
  3. It's not too difficult to get on or off once you figure it out (it took me  about 5 donnings & doffings).
So, yeah, problem solved. Since our car was packed with all sorts of stuff to support a family vacation to the mountains, not having to figure out how to get a rather bulky backpack worked in amongst all the camping/hiking/cooking/baby/toddler/dog in the car was also a perk.

Now that we are finally properly provisioned, we headed in to the park. And guess what met us there: a tree that had just fallen across the road during a wind storm (it had also been snowing at one point during the drive down).

We did some hiking, and some not-hiking, and here are the photos:




So, yeah, a pretty good time in the woods.
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