Traveling to and through High Altitude Destinations with Babies

When we road tripped from Seattle to Oregon and California, we traveled through more mountain passes than I could count or keep track of.  One of our longer stays was also in the small mountain town of Truckee, California where the elevation is about 6,000 feet, a far cry from our usual comfortable and damp sea-level living.

We took a couple of things into consideration (and preparation) knowing we were traveling with our newest (now 4-month old) adventurer, and we also picked up a few tips and ideas along the way to make high altitude travel most comfortable for babies.

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Oregon-California Family Road Trip: 11-Day Itinerary

We recently embarked (and returned all in one piece) on our first {family of four} multi-day road trip.  The journey was eventful to say the least, and to my surprise, a whole lot more enjoyable than I anticipated.  I’ll admit that I expected wild tantrums occurring in the backseat along with piercing baby cries that would be impossible to quiet.

And while there was some of unpleasantness, it certainly wasn’t the norm.  More often, we found ourselves enjoying the scenery, having the luxury of researching possible lunch and rest stops, and actually engaging in grown-up conversation! The one thing that did cut into our travel time (and sometimes sanity) was the amount of bathroom stops required for a 3.5 year old!

We’ll dive into more specifics of each of our destinations (and even pit stops) in the coming weeks and months (we covered a lot of ground!), but first we want you to see the bigger picture, and a few statistics for fun.

Day 1: Salem, Oregon

A good distance away (but not too ambitious) from our home in Seattle for the first leg of our trip, and also the home of my husband Slaed’s aunt, uncle and cousin.  Here we visited with family and took some time to explore the capitol.

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Celebrating the Iditarod with Wiggle-Waggle Woof 1, 2, 3: A Counting Book

While off in Arizona a couple of weeks back, Bergen (3.5 years old) and I decided to take a break from the hot and dry conditions of the Sonoran Desert, and instead imagined we were in cold and wet Alaska cheering on dog sled teams as they rushed past us. Why you might ask? Well, the Iditarod, dubbed “The Last Great Race” was officially starting that day, and we wanted to catch a little bit of the spirit.

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Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum

What is it with 3 and 1/2 year-olds and treasures? Is this a thing? Maybe its just our little guy, but lately all he can talk about is treasures, from finding treasures to receiving them as a reward.  The good news? Anything can be a treasure.  So as long as we call it such, anything can have the potential of being special to him.  The bad news? Since everything has the potential to be a treasure, we can spend a lot of time waiting around for a lollygagging preschooler investigating every nook and cranny along our way.

Sometimes it all works out though, like during our visit to the arboretum this past weekend.  As soon as Bergen was “released” from the jogging stroller to walk on his own, he requested the use of one of the bags we’d brought along for the dog’s (ahem) deposits.  I credited him for his smart thinking! He declared that he was going to search for treasures, and then for the next mile or so, he picked up anything that happened to catch his eye.  Rocks, sticks, leaves, blades of grass…they all went in the bag.

If you’re looking for a way to focus walks and hikes with your young children, you might just think about bringing a bag along for collecting! It’s easy, doesn’t require a whole lot of pre-planning, and Bergen was more than willing to toss the treasures back when our walk was complete.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

While Bergen was focused on finding treasures, I had the chance to admire early spring in the arboretum.  Yes, while the east coast is suffering through snow, ice, and bitter cold, we are experiencing abundant sunshine, flowers in bloom, warmer temperatures, and even (it seems to me) more active wildlife.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

 

Have any more tips on holding kids’ interest while walking and hiking? We’d love more ideas!

You can also check out our other tips for hiking with a preschooler.

 

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Treasure Walks and Early Spring in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum | WildTalesof.com

Baby Naming in Paradise: Big Decisions while Exploring Oahu’s Ka’ena Point State Park

How did you go about choosing names for your children? Or if you don’t have kids, do you know how your name was chosen? Was there a process involved? Maybe you just knew all along…or possibly the name was already picked out for you because of family history or obligations.  Whatever the case may be, I think the ways people decide on names is fascinating.  .

Amazing, really.  I mean, the possibilities are endless, and for me at least, the pressure to choose “correctly” can be overwhelming.

Names got tossed around all throughout both of our pregnancies.  One of us would might make a suggestion, and if it was acceptable to both of us, we might write it down on our list.   Then, after months of brainstorming, the narrowing down, nitty-gritty decision making happened in the same way: On vacation.

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Preschool Hikes: Discovering More in Seattle’s Discovery Park

Places often remain wonderful in mind because I haven’t quite discovered all they have to offer.  The mystery and unknown give me reason to come back and explore.  Magic remains.

Seattle’s Discovery Park is one example.  Maybe its because we usually fall into the same routine: Parking in the same area, hiking down the same stairs toward the beach, walking along the same stretch of shore.  Still beautiful, but I always knew there was more.

For this visit, I switched it up and we saw several aspects of the park that I’ve never seen.  And because of that I have an even greater appreciation for the place.  Even better, as you might expect my two little adventurers were also along for the ride, and for one of them (Georgia, 2 months) this was her very first visit.

Environmental Learning Center

I’d heard that there was an indoor learning space here, but never visited myself.  So to make sure we had a chance check it out, I made it our starting point.  The center proved to be a great spot to get our nature juices flowing.  The space is filled with books, puppets, and tons of other hands on materials for little ones to investigate before or after heading off on an outdoor adventure.

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Day Tripping: Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park

Travel with a brand-new baby, unless absolutely necessary, isn’t something we planned to do right away.  We planned to take it easy, one day at a time, and gauge the new addition’s temperament and needs.  We thought we might venture out, but nothing got written down on the calendar, if you know what I mean.

The thing is though, we’re still those same people who love to explore and stay active even when a tiny bundle is around.  Once the family visits had died down, and we had a free weekend, we thought we might as well try out a day trip.

Tacoma isn’t too far, under an hour’s drive from our home in Seattle, and we had on our bucket list to visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  We’re members of our own Woodland Park Zoo, but we were curious as to what was happening “down south” and knew it was an outing the whole family could handle.

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