OHE May 18, 1998 (b)

Date:	Sun, 17 May 1998 20:01:22 -1000
From:	Mike Uslan (uslan@aloha.net>
To:	ohe-l@hawaii.edu
Subject: Hiking with Baby

I took my 4 month old baby on a hike today. She has really gotten a kick out of being outdoors. She loves the sounds and smells, and with her recent escapades at local beaches and the laughs she hooted out during one short romp in the 4X4 I figured it was time to take her for a walk.

I purchased a "Mickey Mouse" baby backpack, not for her to wear, but for her to ride in. She is still a bit small for it, she leans her head against the frame and gets bumped, but a trial run yesterday around the block and we turned some blankets into some pretty killer padding. I noticed we couldn't see each other, but otherwise all systems were go. I had the wife take up the rear to give me a constant report on babys progress and demeanor. I found that the faster I walked de meanor she got. Hahahaha stupid joke, anyways.. We decided on Ahuilama trail including the shortcut through bamboo forest and our goal the Nuuanu lookout. It was almost exactly an hour and 15 minutes of walking up, I was taking time not to run or jump over obstacles because the baby feels every bump.

The wife behind assured me that baby was smiling and reaching for the trees, she especially liked the noises in the bamboo forest and the wind coming over the top of Nuuanu Lookout. She really had a good time and I wonder if she will remember any of this when she is older.

At the junction with "God's Country" trail we rested and enjoyed the views of people fishing in Nuuanu Resevoir below. The clouds hovered enticingly close to us obscuring the beautiful and seducing Konahuanui. I kept baby on my lap and encouraged the wife and my older daughter Nakita to try out the first steep climb through God's Country, they returned 5 minutes later commited to try it one day with me. I have to say of all my places on Oahu, this is one of the most beautiful places to kick back and rest.

The trip down was exactly one hour. From the lookout to the dual cement poles was 20 minutes. About 40 minutes to the shortcut through the bamboo, and another 20 minutes until reching the Landcruiser at the beginning of pavement. One hour total with baby on board. Without baby I could easily have cut these times in half.

Its good to pound trails with the boys and do the marathon hikes or go high flying in a 4X4 or a high RPM dirt bike, but this was just as much fun for me, and I know my baby girls dreams tonight might include, besides the usual bunnys and puppies, some wispy cloud covered peaks and fantastic forest sounds and smells. Cheers!

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