Again rain.  We decided to stay in the Bass Lake area and have a lazy day not climbing or hiking.  After a morning of debating what not to do, we decided to call the local scenic railroad we pass everyday on our way into the Valley.  I called the Sugar Pine Railroad at 10:30 AM and we found out the daily train leaves daily at 11:00.  So we literally threw the kids in the Cherokee half dressed, sped out of the timeshare, and raced up the curvy canyon roads to the Train  Station.  By the way it’s a 20 minute drive, and by now it is 10:40.  We pull into the train station, Laura jumps out to buy tickets, I drive down the mountain side to park the Jeep, grab both kids out of their car seats, and run towards the whistling steam engine.  Meanwhile, Laura buys the tickets and runs down the mountain side out of sight as I am running up the mountain side with C under my arm like a football and R running at my side like a blocker headed for the goal line.  Luckily, Laura is faster and makes it down and then up just as we reach the train.  We jump into the open train cars as the conductor yells, “All aboard!”.  It was perfect timing.  And of course 5 minutes into the excursion R says, “I have to pee pee right now”, which has been a reoccurring theme the whole trip.  I can’t count how many times Ryder has urinated in public; along highways, in parking lots, IN THE CAR RENTAL PARKING LOT (Laura almost died of embarrassment), in the Valley, in a construction site along the Valley entrance road, and many other public settings.  Thanks Dad for teaching my son to pee wherever he can find a tree, and thanks to our nephew for teaching him to pretend his pee steam is a light saber.  My shoes and my new soft shell pants thank you both :).

New River Gorge with Kids

New River Gorge Climbing Trip We finally made our way back to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a weekend of climbing.  It has been years (pre kids) since we had been to this area as it seemed to be a bit less kid friendly than other areas that we had been to.  Our app was showing predictions of snow on Friday night - and it wasn't far off.  The drive took us eons, especially in the Appalachians with the travel trailer.  We … [Read More...]

Hiking in a Creek

Have you ever started out on a day hike with children only to have it turn into something completely different that what you planned?  Ha. Of course you have. Many of our adventures start out as one thing ("I want to climb X route" or "sleep at X campground". . . "I want to relax in a tube on the water", or "I want to sleep in the sand") and end up as something completely different ("The route had a group staked out on it for the day" or "I couldn't … [Read More...]

Climbing Gym Etiquette With Kids

Tips for taking kids to the climbing gym. There are few things more troublesome than going to a new place and not knowing the spoken and unspoken rules.  Add to the uncertainty the presence of children, and it can be quite intimidating to enter into unknown territory.   For those new to indoor climbing and/or new to indoor climbing with kids, here are a few tips for bringing your kids to the gym. Those that know me will laugh at the irony. . . My … [Read More...]

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests.  There are exceptions, of course!  Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found.  As usual, my husband and I sought out something both "active" and "family friendly" to try with the kids. Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that's a solo endeavor, as … [Read More...]

The Mount Rushmore Dilemma

Visiting Mount Rushmore with Kids Our summer trip to Wyoming and South Dakota was amazing.  We combined climbing with family time, history, geography, science and more.  When we planned the trip, climbing was the main focus, but hitting some of the National Parks and National Monuments were also a must.  Mount Rushmore is one of those locations that combines both.  There are amazing climbing opportunities in the shadow of the National Monument.  There are … [Read More...]

About Laura Boniello Miller

Laura Miller is a internet marketing professional and a mother of two. Her interests include sport climbing, bouldering, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She believes that playing outdoors is integral to health and well being, and that if your kids aren't dirty, they haven't had enough fun.