A Family Quest to the Hike 7 Trails Built by WTA in the Southwest
Ryan Ojerio, WTA's Southwest Regional Manager, set out with his kids to hike the 7 new trails built by WTA volunteers in one month. Here's their story.
Ryan Ojerio, WTA's Southwest Regional Manager, manages volunteers, scouts projects, advocates for trails and promotes hiking in Southwest Washington. During August's Hike-a-Thon, he set out with his kids to hike the 7 new trails built by WTA volunteers in his big backyard.
by Ryan Ojerio
On the last hike on the last day of our month-long quest we were down to our last diaper and out of milk. The sun was low in the west, and I realized that if I pushed them too far, this adventure could backfire.
Kai, still a toddler, won't remember any of this. But Lola is at the age I was when my dad took me on adventures that I remember vividly (like the time we returned from a trip by coasting down all the hills because the car was nearly out of gas). I looked at Lola closely. She didn't seem to mind that it would be dark soon, and I didn't want to give up.
So we pressed on.
The goal of our quest was to hike all seven of the new trails built by WTA volunteers in Southwest Washington. An ambitious goal for sure, but what better way to spend our August while helping raise funds for trail work with Hike-a-Thon?
Each of these trails hold many fond memories for me, and I wanted to share that with my kids. Hopefully they will enjoy hiking them as I have, and, when they're old enough, they'll be inspired to volunteer to take care of them too.
We kicked off our quest at Vancouver Lake where Lola visited her first work party at just 3 years old. Then we were off to Mount St. Helens to hike the Volcano View Trail. We drove to the coast and saw a momma bear and black bear cub on the Hines Marsh Trail at Leadbetter Point State Park. We ended our trip at Beacon Rock State Park, where WTA built the Bridge Trail, River to Rock and the Trails.
When finally got home, it was way past bedtimes. Their Mom had a hot pizza waiting for us. Our Hike-a-Thon was over, six of seven trails completed (the Traverse Trail at Coyote Wall will have to wait). But our family's lifetime of adventures is just getting started.