Voices in the Wilderness: The Toddler Trek

On a chilly fall day, after a wonderful Storytime hosted by the Troy library, a group of parents invited  my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter and me on a trip  to Ross Creek Cedars. We packed a quick lunch, put on rain boots and grabbed a sweatshirt. 

We followed the caravan filled with crazy toddlers up to the cedars trail and ogled out the windows at the incredible landscape. As soon as we got out of the car it was clear to me that we had underdressed despite the addition of sweatshirts. The canopy of tree cover made it much chillier than down in Troy. Yet, we trekked on! 

As soon as we got out of the car it was clear to me that we had underdressed despite the addition of sweatshirts. The canopy of tree cover made it much chillier than down in Troy.

All the kids clustered together sprinting down the trail, stopping occasionally to climb on top of gargantuan fallen cedars, or to look at the signs showing different plants and animals. . One mom opted to bring a wagon, tugging it over the thick roots that spread through the forest floor. While the kids ran ahead and toddle over roots, trees, and each other, I could only gape at the majesty of the cedar kingdom we were so very lucky enough to experience. The thought crossed my mind many times that someone had had the foresight many years ago to preserve this sanctuary. How could we thank them enough?

The thought crossed my mind many times that someone had had the foresight many years ago to preserve this sanctuary. How could we thank them enough?

The kids eventually stumble back to their respective parents, and we decide to find a spot to feed our ravenous little explorers. We find a lovely little moss-covered haven right off the trail and throw out blankets and begin dispersing snacks. As we all quietly eat away, one of the older kiddos makes an incredible discovery, a hollowed-out tree! All the kids rush over, ditching whatever food was in their hands, and crawl into their new hideaway. Shrieks of joy and wonder echo out of the tree as they all cram themselves inside the tree. “A rocketship!”

“A submarine!”

“A cedarmarine!” Shouts one of the older kids, followed by lots of tinkling giggles. 

When the kids decide to disembark their ship, they unanimously decide it is time to go home. 

Once we (finally!) get the kids herded back to the vehicles, their feet are dragging and they are all rubbing at their eyes. We buckle in the little ones and stop to say our goodbyes. I sincerely thank the parents for inviting us to this indescribable wonderland. As I get back to the car, I see my little one is already slumped, snoring in her seat with a sweet smile on her face. 

How lucky are we to have this magical place nearby?!

Brooke Bolin.

Brooke is a Libby local and the Montana Outreach Coordinator for the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. 

Voices in the Wilderness is a storytelling project by Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. The series of wild stories are written by locals living in North Idaho and northwest Montana. If you have an adventurous tale to tell based in the wild, write to info@scotchmanpeaks.org.



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About The Author:

Cameron Rasmusson is a writer and journalist who grew up in Scotchmans territory. While he now calls Sandpoint home, he spent his formative years in the natural beauty of Libby, Montana. From elementary to high school, he enjoyed the outdoor experiences that mountain towns provide.

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