Goshen News, Goshen, IN


June 30, 2013

Was this the trail we were supposed to take?

THE WOODS, New York — Seriously, I’ve been in the woods for a few days camping with my family. To write this, I slipped away with a strong cup of camp coffee and came to the park lodge overlooking a misty lake. It’s the only place in these vast state-park forests with a proper Internet connection.

Before I was married, I was a beach-and-water person — not a bugs-and-logs person — much preferring the sizzle of the summer sun as it bronzed my skin complemented by a chilly, sporty lake a few steps away if not under the boat or raft I was on.

But my husband: “Ew, all that sand? Awful.” Me: “Woods? There’s no sun.” My husband: “Laying there getting hot and then throwing yourself in freezing water? What’s fun about that?” Me: “Wearing socks and boots to ‘hike’ through mosquitoes when you could be on the beach? What’s fun about that?”

You get the idea.

We have both changed some in 11 years — I more than he, I’d bet — and we find places to camp where there are both woods and water. The other day he stayed on shore and, from the shade, fished bluegill out of the lake while I rented a row boat and cut a nice pace through the water during peak bronzing time.

I do, in fact, truly enjoy hiking now. There is something inspiring about strapping on knee socks and boots and conquering a trail someone has dubbed “most difficult.” Once in a while the sun peeks through the tree leaves and gets your shoulders, even, and you can often find a creek for cold water. If you lather on the fruity-smelling tanning oil, you might even think you’re somewhere near a beach.

On our first day here in the woods, we decided to take our children on a hike. They’re old enough to walk; they’re fit and active; they like the woods. They’d been hoping to see a black bear, so we enticed them with that possibility — though with as much noise as our family of six makes in the woods, we’re lucky to see squirrels.

As we scoured the map looking for the perfect first trail, we settled on a 4.9-mile loop at about 2,000 feet altitude, a wide and hilly cross-country ski trail. Five miles did seem a little long, but we reasoned we had all day and would just take our time.

Yeah, well, we did that. Try five hours. And 8 miles! Somewhere, we missed a crucial switchback to loop back toward the trailhead and ended up hiking deeper into the forest, adding another, 3.1-mile trail to our 4.9-mile one. Whoa.

Everyone was fine, but it was a little dicey for a while. Even I wanted to cry.

For one, recently I’ve been loud and proud of my CrossFit training, where I’ve been discovering my body can be strong and endure much. “No problem,” I’ve told my husband in recent weeks. “I can carry that (insert heavy item) across the yard. I CrossFit.” Then I’d show him a deep squat or flex my biceps while arguing that not very many people (me included) can do a strict pull-up. Oy, what he endures from me, this man.

But pride, someone says, goes before a fall, right? So our 8-mile hike required me to “put up or shut up” when it came to my own fitness. “I can hike 8 miles up and down hills carrying a 30-pound toddler. I CrossFit.” Yikes. Thankfully, my own endurance was, in fact, sufficient for the hike. Aside from a bum knee, I wasn’t even sore the next day.


Our 8-mile trek deep into the forest stretched me in another way — as a mother, a servant-leader, as one whose job it is to encourage others.

My children did really well. They did not complain of being sore or especially tired the next day, and while they dragged a bit, we have not ruined them for hiking. But there were some times, probably mostly during miles 6 to 8, when I had to help them press through and keep my own chin up — or at least my boots moving.

I learned:

•    It’s helpful to set sites on short-term goals. “Ellie, let’s get to the next bend and see what’s around it before we stop again. You can make it to that spot, can’t you?” I find people can accomplish a lot in a series of short bursts. Conversely, just moving on and on with no benchmarks or milestones can be discouraging.

•    Borderline fibbing — or setting sights elsewhere, anyway — can be useful in encouraging someone to continue on. “Are we almost there, Mom?” asked Azariah. “Yep, we’re making our way.” I also noted, “The end is up ahead” and “The trail ends sometime up here” and “We’re headed north toward our van” even when we had miles to go.

•    The feelings at the end are so worth the pain. Our old minivan parked at the trailhead never looked so good. Neither had a camp shower — complete with who-knows-what crawling on the shower floor — was especially delicious. The children noted this themselves.

•    Do it together. Each of us — save that toddler sometimes — had to walk on his or her own. But when I wasn’t carrying the toddler, I took my children’s hands when the trail was broad enough to do so. “I can do this, Mommy, when you do it with me,” Ellie said. Had my husband not been there to set the pace, carry the toddler — and he does NOT CrossFit — and help us have a good attitude, I don’t know how I would have done. We did it together.

•    So cliché, but enjoy the trip. While we had to disallow excessive dawdling, we did stop to watch a pheasant call for her babies, climb some rocks and pick flowers. If you’re stuck deep in the woods, might as well enjoy it. You get it how this transfers to everything else in life.

Lest you worry that we force-marched our children on an 8-mile torture trail, know that I packed and CARRIED — I CrossFit, remember? — adequate water and high-energy trail food. I even applied a bandage and antibiotic cream from my First Aid kit, which I also carried.

So, we’re heading back to the woods now to try a more modest 2-miler. (Clouds are heavy, so there’s not much bronzing to do anyway.)

If I’m not back next week, better call the ranger.

Goshen News columnist Stephanie Price is a wife, mother, teacher, childbirth educator, doula, midwife’s assistant and student nurse pursuing a minor in complementary health from Elkhart. Contact her a¬¬t wholefamily@goshennews.com, 269-641-7249 or on Facebook at the page “Whole Family Column by Steph Price.”


Text Only
  • GN140728 FAIR Presidents Baked Items multiberry crisp.jpg Multi-berry crisp claims fair president's award President Tim Yoder’s Baked Item this year was fruit crisp.Of the 20 entries, first place went to Sally Kyle of Goshen with her Multi-berry Crisp. FIRST PLACEMulti-berry CrispSally Kyle, Goshen1-1/2 cups flour3/4 cup brown sugar, packed1 stick cold b

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140728 FAIR Anything Goes with Cabbage.jpg May Beane wins Anything Goes with Cabbage May Beane of Elkhart won the Anything Goes with Locally Grown Cabbage contest, sponsored by Sweet Corn Charlie Produce, Wednesday at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.Twelve exhibitors entere 12 cabbage recipes.FIRST PLACEChicken Cabbage SaladMay Beane, El

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140728 FAIR blueberries.jpg Bread pudding takes Bursting with Blueberries prize Former Goshen resident and current Gainesville, Texas, resident Diana Julien Sims’ recipe for Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Amaretto Cream Sauce won the Bursting with Blueberries top prize at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.The contest too

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly GOSHENCripe reunion set for Aug. 16Anyone with an ancestor who was a Cripe is invited to attend the Cripe reunion Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Goshen Church of the Brethren, 1200 Berkey Ave. in Goshen.At 10 a.m., speaker Jerry Cripe will giv

    July 28, 2014

  • stephanie price column sig WHOLE FAMILY: Adapting a pledge I can truly honor “I solemnly pledge myself … in the presence of this assembly to practice my profession faithfully. I will safeguard my clients and the public when health care and safety are at stake. I vow to adhere to the legal and ethical principles of the profess

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • THE NATURALIZED MID-AMERICAN: Master wood craftsman shows the inner beauty of trees I am still surprised by the beauty I see in these lengths of wood, and suppose I always will be. They are testament to the carefully-wrought, intricate, and deep craft of creation. They are testament to Don’s generous craftsmanship, too — for which I am very grateful — which was an expression of the joyful Craft that created him. He and those beautiful boards were cut from the same living tree.

    July 27, 2014

  • Briefly ELKHART‘Dog Daze of Summer’ Aug. 2The Pillars of Elkhart will host the fourth annual Dog Daze of SummerAug. 2 from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Civic Plaza in downtown Elkhart. Dog Daze will feature two local bands, High Gravity and MR Z Band. Hot Dog vendors

    July 27, 2014

  • GN140726 Queen Kaahumanu GLOBAL FAITHS: Hawaiians' conversion to Christianity helped women A recent trip to Hawaii to visit family drew my attention again to Hawaiian religion. Original Hawaiians are Polynesians who came to Hawaii from Tahiti, Samoa, Easter Island and other Pacific islands between 500 and 1300 A.D. These Hawaiians were polytheists who worshiped and built shrines to various nature deities. But on the big island of Hawaii they came to revere especially Pele, the fierce and violent goddess of volcanoes.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly SYRACUSEThe Book of Job presentation Aug. 1The public is invited to experience the Book of Job at a one-man dramatization by the Rev. Dave Marty Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. The event will take place in the auditorium of the Oakwood Resort Event Center, 702 E. L

    July 26, 2014

  • THE PLAIN SIDE: A hunter finds his delight in God's nature with deer There, in the grass, lies a 12-point buck that the neighbor hit with his van. You quickly estimate the deer at 170 or better. No way. You ask a few tight-lipped questions and yes, the driver affirms the direction the deer was going. He points a still

    July 26, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results