The Window Trail
We like to start our trips with head injuries. It’s more interesting that way. Then we can get our flashlights out and check pupils and pretend we are doctors and such. It’s cool. Not really, but it seems true. On the way down, and the Window Trail from our campsite starts windy going down, my niece Bella was running and fell on her little cutie face. It was sad and unintentional. But what’s an almost 3-year-old to do? If there’s a hill, don’t you want to go as fast as you can down it? I do. But I have more motor skills than she did. Oops. She’s a trooper though. You have to be if you have two older brothers who push you down the whole time you are learning to walk. Right?
Yeah, she powered through. We were all so excited to be on the trail again. We knew for sure this time the distance, but we were optimistic about the 5.6 miles we were attempting with our children. We were ready to be fireworks and show ’em what we’re worth. It was the first hike after all, people. I looked over to Matt (my husband) as we descended into the Chisos, and there were tears in his eyes. I didn’t realize how much he needed this trip until this moment. It was beautiful. The mountains surrounded us gently, and we took in the desert scenery and the colorful rocks and the short trees trying to give us shade. The kids trooped along. Maile complained about the little bag I’d given her, and she wished she had a water pack. She said she would like to have a backpack with a water bladder for Christmas. I hugged her. I love that kid.
Here’s a little side note. Did you know as parents that we pretty much always underestimate our children? I don’t know why. We just do. They are strong. They are ready to have adventure. They need us, but they don’t need us to hover. At all. We need to instruct, prepare, educate, and protect. But we do not need to hover. Check them out. They have strength we don’t know about. I think this is one of the things God wants us to learn from children. God never underestimates them.
You will descend for a while on the Window Trail, but it will be worth the uphill on the way back. There are these lovely mountain surround scenes for some time, and then you get to what feels like the bottoms (that is an East Texas term from my upbringing). You can use it if you want. Anyways, it is very foresty and there is a creek down thar. Also, I think you should know that in East Texas no one really says forest. We call them “woods.” That was for free. In the bottoms we found a frail Fall beauty. I felt like all the leaves were about to drop, but they waited for us. I was so glad.
Then we reached more of a canyon, rocky area. We began to descend a bit after weaving through some amazing boulders. The kids felt the largeness of the area, and their steps quickened.
After a few twists and turns, we reached some built-in stairs going up and down. It was fun and steep and the kids loved it.
And then all of a sudden, we were there. We reached the Window, and everything made sense. Have you had those moments where everything makes sense? It’s like a good, deep breath. It’s like a perfect yoga pose. It’s like a satisfying meal. It’s like a prayer of love. You know. You see. You’re good with it all. You finally understand: All shall be well.
The rocks are slick, and the Window is not very big, but you can see for miles. The drop-off is exhilarating, and I tried my best to not say “Be careful” over and over in my mom-voice. I love living on the edge. It’s hard to let your kids be edgy, but I’m trying.
We ate our lunch on those slick rocks, and I have to say that hiking is made better by Oreos. Maybe it’s just me, and I’m not a big fan of processed foods, but you really need Oreos if you are requiring your children to hike 5.6 miles.
The way home was pretty, but it is never easy or as exciting. Plus on the Window Trail, there is a lot uphill on the way back. By the end, we were all tired, but we were looking forward to dinner at the Lodge again. The next day, we were doing all our own cooking, but today we were treating ourselves. After a good dinner at the lodge, we headed back to camp.
We were sad we couldn’t make a fire (against Big Bend policy), but we tucked our kids in their bags and planned to play some cards. We bundled up, but it was pretty cold so we only played a few rounds of Blackjack, visited a bit, and went to bed. The next day we were headed to the Grapevine Hills Trail (balancing rock) so we needed the sleep. It was very cold as I snuggled into my bag, and I was grateful that my bag would carrying me through the night no matter what the temperature dropped to. I did check that the girls were zipped into their bags and toasty before I let myself relax into the warmth. My last thought was about the skunks I thought I smelled, but I was too tired to care.
To be continued….