Being outdoorsy gets sort of complicated when you have kids. Long hikes tend to turn parents into pack animals, backpacking is impossible, and even car camping becomes increasingly difficult with all the paraphernalia kids seem to require. But, because we don’t want to take a 10-15 year hiatus from the things we love, we absolutely refuse to give up just because things get more difficult. With Noel’s sister, Danielle, in town this past weekend we decided it was the perfect time to go on a pilot camping trip as a family of four. We loaded our car and rocket box to the brim and headed to Rocky Mountain National Park. It certainly wasn’t like the weekend trips of our pre-kid days. There was considerably more crying, bedtime was a disaster, and everything took four times as long as it used to. By the time Cooper had skinned his knee tripping over a tree root and Ellen had spit up on her last outfit and leaked poop all over the car we were about ready to give up and go home. Instead, we cleaned up the best we could with diaper wipes, strapped the protesting kids to our bodies, hid the diaper behind a tree to retrieve later so our car wouldn’t stink up while we were gone, and hit the trail. We may not be able to go as far or as fast as we used to, but we still got to enjoy fresh air and beautiful views. Sometimes I feel sad when I think of all the awesome adventures we used to go on, but really I think we’ve just made it to a new level of hardcore. For now, just getting out there is impressive enough.