I’ve been involved with Hike it Baby in various capacities for over 3 years now. As a Branch Ambassador, as a hiker, and also as a writer. And I credit Hike it Baby with saving my sanity after I lost my father in 2014. It got me outside, got me social, and gave me some very real outlets for my grief.
In fact, in 2015, I quit a job I loved in order to find myself, and Hike it Baby really helped do that. Outside of that, one of the very best outcomes was amazing lifetime friendships, including getting to know the founder, Shanti Hodges. It’s also been access to wonderful, like-minded people around the country…people who really want their kids to have a childhood relatively unplugged.
Even though I’m a Branch Ambassador for the (very) fledgling Green Bay branch, I find it more and more difficult to get out on trail. I do contribute to the blog occasionally. But since I spent the last year, pregnant, moving, and learning to deal with parenting two kids, I haven’t been as active with the national organization.
I knew a book was coming out, but I just hadn’t been able to contribute much to it. So when Shanti was coming on her book tour to Wisconsin, and she asked if we’d get to connect, I knew I had to make the time.
Last Saturday morning I loaded up the kids and made the two hour trek to the GORGEOUS Kettle Moraine State Park, which just happens to be one of the adventures in the book. I was delighted to see my friend, and also to meet some great people that I’ve met through Facebook, but hadn’t ever had the opportunity to meet in person.
We got to explore a beautiful area, the kids got to splash in a spring, and I got to chat with some new people. Well worth the drive (and parking sticker). And Shanti was giving out copies of the new Hike it Baby book, and I finally got to take a look.
Let me tell you, it’s gorgeous. It’s a great resource. And it’s incredibly valuable. Plus, Dr. Scott from Dinosaur Train (one of my favorite kids’ shows), wrote the forward. The photography is beautiful, and Shanti and all of her contributors did a masterful job of compiling hikes, information, and photographs to create a great guide. And I recommend it for anyone looking to explore just about any state. Because there’s something in it for everyone.