Mount Gillen Anniversary Hike- Alice Springs, NT, Australia
We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary by hiking up the famous, local peak; Mount Gillen! Jon and I hadn’t gotten up to the summit yet, because it’s a hike that we really couldn’t bring Emmylou along for (we tried last year and only made it 3/4 of the way up). There’s an intense rock scramble (I’d call it more of a climb) to get to the top and I can’t imagine it would have been easy with a little one on our back. So, we got a sitter and headed up Mount Gillen to watch the sun set, just the two of us!Before heading out, we picked up burritos for dinner. We hit the trail and made it to the summit in about 45 minutes. I thought the climbing portion of the hike was a little terrifying (I didn’t know I was scared of heights until this experience) but Jon was my rock, as usual. He was patient and literally placed my feet on the correct rocks while talking me through each step; he’s a saint of a husband and I don’t know how I got so lucky!I was glad to make it to the top!The summit was absolutely worth the climb- it was beautiful and cool up there. We hiked to the highest point and set up to eat and take in the GORGEOUS sunset.The burritos were so yummy and Jon whipped up some hot cocoa, which was amazing since it was windy and COLD once the sun sank down!We had the best time taking in the sunset and just enjoying each other’s company! After a busy year of parenthood, it was so nice to have an outing that focused on slowing down and appreciating the simple things. The perfect sunset was also a real treat; normally there aren’t any clouds in the sky but the tiny bit of cloud-cover made for a magnificent show. We agreed it was one of our best dates, ever. We loved the sights, fresh air, exercise and company! We joked about it being our first “alone hike” in years (we think Yosemite was our last adventure without a dog or baby along) and appreciated the lack of whining (Penny) and gear (Emmylou).The hike down (in the dark) also proved to be a fun adventure! We enjoyed a spectacular night sky complete with a moon so bright, it gave us shadows. We used headlamps for parts of the hike down and moonlight for others. We also saw a few animals; I spy a little Rock Wallaby!Year 4 seemed quick but in this year our marriage has grown to be more solid, confident and open. We talked a lot about love languages and worked on honing in on each other’s needs and wants; it’s been a fun perspective change (I also think it helped keep our connection strong despite the business of this season).
While hiking, we talked about what our life will look like on our 14th anniversary and giggled a bit; imagining life with an 11 year old and who knows what else seems so far off. We know it will be here before we know it!
K, J, EL & P