now i was only carrying harper (who is 4 1/2 months old), but the steep trail seemed much more difficult than when we climbed sopris last year, sans baby. i was taking it slowly (a little too slowly?) when we got above tree level, getting ever closer to the top, and the rain clouds began rolling in overhead. we made the call to turn around. it's not the rain that worries us as much as the high probability of being accompanied by thunder & lightning.
we did get rained on as we neared camp. laying in the tent, we went back & forth if we should camp out for the night or head back, not knowing if the weather would get better or worse. with a break in the clouds, we packed up and headed back, regretting our decision with every step. garrison & i were both more than a little grumpy as we hiked the last 4 miles back to the car, wanting so badly to stay & camp but both being worried we would make the wrong call and spend the night in fear of a lighting strike. of course the evening was one of the most clear & beautiful we've had in a while. it was a long day, 10 hours spent outside hiking at least 12 miles, 8 of which with large packs and the other 4 on the steep mountainside.
after leaving camp we passed by 3 young girls. they reminded me of myself 8-9 years ago, just after high school when i was doing the same thing with friends. one girl said that backpacking with a baby was "one of the cutest things" she's ever seen, followed by "you are my inspiration." and that's why i was even on the trail in the first place... because i have been inspired by other mother's, before i had kids, to get out and try. go as far as you can. turn around when you need to. but don't stay home.