With the weather getting all warm (mid 60s) and sunny, we decided to head outdoors for some hiking. Our good friends Aaron and Russ had given us an awesome REI pack for Xander's birth, so we headed out for a test-run at Smith Rock State Park. The pack's manual states the intended ages of 6 months - 2 years. However, Xander is not you average sized 4 month old (in retrospect, we should have asked for 9-12 month aged clothes at the baby shower).
Since he's proven trail worthy on previous expeditions and doesn't resemble a bobble-head, we geared up and hit the trail. We decided on the "loop" which follows around the Crooked River and summits at Monkey Face figuring the skree slope would be better tackled on an ascending, rather than descending approach. (note for future trips: trekking poles are a God-send when packing 30 lbs. of child with a center of balance slightly above your head.)
Anyhow, the hike was a success if measured by getting from point "a" to point "b" without injury or loss of life. Realistically, we probably pushed him a little bit. On the descent via Misery Ridge (aptly named of course) he had a melt-down of Chernobyl proportions. This could have been caused by the heat, hunger, or time spent battened down by REI's overzealous 7-point harness. Anyhow, he was over it. Once past the technical section, we got him out and Chelle carried him the rest of the way while I followed with the child carrier sans child. Nice.
Back at the car Chelle noticed some serious hickeys on her shoulder. Turns out, Xander was teething again. Poor guy just gnawed on mom's shoulder for comfort. Sadly, I don't have any photographic evidence to post. Well, what can you say... we're learning. :) Here's some pics from the trip: