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Our Family Bike Trip to Cortes Island

August 8, 2012

Well, that was crazy! Taking Keely and our 3 children on a biking trip was a TON of fun. We had a blast both while en route and while camping. Here are a few things I learned about life and family and holidays.

This is a pic of us just before heading out.

Plan your trip, but plan for the plan to be changed. No matter how much planning you put into a holiday, the point is not to stick to a plan, but to have fun. I can be fairly task-oriented, but when it comes to holidays, the task at hand should be to enjoy the time I’m spending with my family. Our plan was to at least START our bike trip and hopefully make it to Cortes Island before sunset so that we had enough daylight to setup camp. In our way were 2 ferries, 16km of HILL-crazy cycling and some nice, but HOT weather. We made better time than I thought we would, which was a nice surprise.

Enjoy the journey. This comes as a natural part of my first point, but its so true. Levi [11] and I made it to the top of many of the hills LONG before Keely and Dexter [8] did. (Keely was towing Talitha [5] & I was towing the gear.) Levi and I had some time for little conversations and berry picking. We were all laughing when it got hard for Keely because she would start singing a silly song she had made up on the fly…that woman is pretty hilarious. Character is not shaped by the milestones and checkpoints we go through, its shaped on the journey in between…enjoy that time. I stopped at one of the tops of the hills and looked back thinking, “I’m watching my children grow up! Such a privilege.”

The best part about struggling up a hill is coasting down the other side. I was towing close to 200lbs (if not more) of gear between the pack on my back and the trailer. That meant that every time I got to the top of a hill, I didn’t have to pedal anymore…my trailer PUSHED me down the hill…fast. I had to make sure I stayed in control by braking lots, but it was so nice to not have to pedal pedal pedal. It was great to see Levi & Dexter riding down the hills too because their faces when from great pain (when going up the hill) to all smiles…it was like little rewards for their achievements of climbing those hills…they loved it!

Hills are hard, but they make you stronger. I tried to bike up every single hill partly for bragging rights, but also for the awesome cardio workout it was. And, just so you know, we’re not talking wimpy bunny hills, these were hills that would make Lance Armstrong cry (well, maybe not, but they were serious). When Dexter or Levi were getting tired of the hills, I would try to motivate them by saying, “Hey boys, just think: after we’ve finished this trip, you’ll look down on ANY hill that stands in your way because you’ll know that you can conquer it!” Not the best motivator, but I know they’re stronger little boys than they were before…and when we go to do something like that next year, they’ll be ready for it.

We had a great time and were thankful that we got to spend it together. We camped for $25/night at a place on Cortes Island called Gorge Harbour Marina Resort. Its a beautiful spot with a pool and hot tub that overlooks the harbour…a playground…live music 3 nights a week…free yoga class…wi-fi…a store….movie night for the kids…and much more. We spent a lot of time poolside…and at the playground. Lots of fun…we’ll likely do another bike trip next year. I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything. 😉

What kinds of holidays do you like to go on with your family? What are some things you’ve learned when traveling?

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