Flexible and Innovative. Two words that I believe sum up our ability to get into the outdoors as a family. Nothing ever stays the same for us. We are constantly dreaming up what is the best combination of a whole bunch of factors, that will help us achieve our goal.
Let me explain our hopes for this day. We wanted to complete the circuit from the campground at Premier Lake, to Yankee, Canuck and Turtle Lakes as shown on this map – approx 6km. It was single track, rolling terrain, and built more as a hiking trail than a biking trail. Our limitations were not enough bikes for everyone. Grandparent’s in their 60’s who couldn’t have biked it anyway. Another injured adult, and a one year old without a biking contraption that would fit on a single track trail.
Our solution? A hike and bike trip. That way, the kids that were super keen to bike could (7, 9 & 11 yrs). I carried our one year old in the back pack, and we ran with our 5 year old, to keep up with the bikers – I didn’t want them encountering a bear without an adult present! The grandparents trotted along at their own speed. With all our stops and starts, everyone’s pace was around-about the same. My second daughter (9yrs) wanted to ride my bike; very popular it was this weekend! Our 7 year old then rode her’s…..
I find that if we were to be rigid in our approach, we would never go anywhere or do anything, and if we did, it wouldn’t be fun. We are constantly problem solving for workable scenario’s and we are flexible to change things on the fly if it isn’t working well. We use a combination of hubby and I’s strengths. We will use a variety of equipment. We take into consideration where each of the kids are at, and the ways that we can help them. The weather. The temperature. Time of day, etc etc. My point is mainly to be creative. I will so say though, we never split up, let some go on ahead, or let anyone opt out. We do it together unless we have made a specific choice before hand.
Let’s talk about the trail…..It starts off in burnt out / regrowing forest, and is therefore open and really pretty.
Travelling in an anti-clockwise direction, Yankee Lake is the first lake you will come across. It is a popular fishing spot.
We stopped for a dip at Canuck Lake.
As I mentioned before, the trail is all single track.
There are some tricky spots for kids, but they were short, and easy enough to push bikes up or around. This area was just past Canuck Lake.
Always a helping hand from Sis, after a crash off the side of the trail!! We had to hide in the bushes to avoid a downpour that we hadn’t anticipated, and then as we headed towards Turtle Lake, the terrain opened up again. It was so great to run – it’s the first time I have tried that approach with a kid on my back. It was good because I could help the other kids as needed without having to get off my own bike – it seemed to simplify the outing.
This is not a circuit we had planned on doing. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing, that I had my doubts would even be a good idea. It turned out to be a great idea! My favourite parts were the beautiful terrain, and it felt like quite the accomplishment for our family. It put everyone on a little high 🙂
Lack of ability to think outside the box is a big reason why being outdoors is prohibitive for some families, and it does get easier with practice and experience!!
If you would like to read my post about camping at Premier Lake Provincial Park you can find it here.