Our 4th wedding anniversary happened to fall during the week when Will’s parents were visiting. They were ecstatic to spend time with Bird, so we managed an evening getaway to Las Vegas early in the week and another amazing hike on the morning of our anniversary to celebrate.
Since we found ourselves hiking without the girls for the second time in a week, we decided to tackle the most difficult trail in the park: the Cinder Cone Volcano trail.
This trail is about 2 miles long and circles the bottom of the cinder cone before scaling the back to the top of the extinct volcano. The elevation gain is about 500 feet, but because it happens over a very short distance, it is definitely a workout. The fact that the trail is made up of crumbling pieces of lava only adds to the excitement (and the level of difficulty).
I am so grateful that we did this hike without Bird because it would have been extra challenging for Will to carry her and extra nerve-wracking for me to watch. There were areas of the ascent and descent that were very steep and very loose, making footing and balance key (especially when either of us started to slip and slide).
While the challenge to get up and down the volcano would make me wary of doing the hike again, the views from the top were spectacular. We reached the top as the sun fully rose over the park below us, and we stood for the longest time soaking in the views.
Once we reached the top, the trail circles the rim of the volcano, which continued to offer incredible views and such a unique perspective of the volcano itself.
Since it was our anniversary, we could not help reflecting on the figurative mountains we have climbed together as we tackled this 1 literally under our feet. When we walked down the aisle 4 years ago, this life we are living now was certainly not anything we could have ever dreamed of. In many ways, with all we have seen and experienced together, with the birth of Bird, and the passing of several of our loved ones who celebrated with us on our wedding day, it feels like it has been a whole lot longer than 4 years…in mostly the best possible way.
Even though we could have never envisioned this life when we said “I do,” with each step we take together, I know this is the path we were meant to be on. We make an amazing team, and I know neither of us would have ever thought to take such a crazy and drastic leap of faith on our own, nor would this adventure be nearly as much fun without all of us together.
As we made our way back down the trail, back toward the truck and breakfast waiting for us with Bird and Will’s parents, I reflected on our time together and how in 4 years we have had more adventures than some people have in a lifetime and overcome obstacles that might have stopped others in their tracks. We have been blessed beyond measure and have really only just begun. We may not know where this road is taking us, but it is taking us together. And there is no one else I would rather hike and move mountains with.