I waver. Should we? Shouldn't we?
And then I decide.
We definitely should use Ivory's school free day to drive across the border into Idaho and hike to the Jerry Johnson hot springs.
I chop carrots, apples, cheese and pack up crackers, hard boiled eggs and almond butter.
I wrestle sleepy kiddos out of pajamas and into clothes.
I cram the dogs into the tiny hatch back space in the back of the car.
We are on week four of this year's field season. Adam leaves early in the morning on Monday and often doesn't return until Friday night. The weekends are taken by catching up on garden chores, laundry, dishes and packing him up again for the next week. He has been working hard outside all week and I have been running a household. Our needs clash. I want out and he wants a chance to sit down.
This isn't just about my need to walk under the trees, to get out of town and ignore my never ending to do list. This is also about proving to myself that I can take a five year old and a three year old hiking on my own. I need to get outside.
So we go.
The sun shines through the rain.
There are flowers - white, yellow, pink and purple.
We sit in a hot pool while the river crashes below us swollen with the spring snow melt.
And the sun shines through the rain.
Ivory walked the entire route with out complaining and even Sylvan walked the whole way back to the car.
They pick up snails, stomp in puddles and explore the burned out trees that remain in the after math of a forest fire.
It pours until we drive out of the clouds and are surrounded by feet of snow.
We stop for dry clothes, hot chocolate and coffee at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center.
We travel into Mountain Time. It is an hour later.
There are cracker crumbs everywhere.
The dogs are wet and stink.
The kids are asleep and I feel grounded and liberated.
A few hours driven, a few miles walked, sunshine, rain and the space to notice at all the little things along the way - and - I am ready to be home. I am ready to walk through the door and greet Adam who will be waiting for us. I got out and he can sit down.
The sun always shines through the rain.