|Scrambling up Old Rag|
This hike reminded me of a friend I had many years ago. We were at a party and people were talking about all sorts of interesting strolls they had on various nature trails in the area. My friend, who worked in organic agriculture and lived for many years in a house-trailer in Kansas responded, “Nature! These people don’t know anything about nature, the real nature! Nature that can freakin’ kill you!” Now, I don’t advocate doing fool-hardy stunts or ignoring dangerous weather conditions, but my friend did have a point that’s applicable to my life (he also gave my family a great catch-phrase). I’ve often found that although my kids always like getting outside, they really love experiences that involve some challenge and they really respect Mother Nature more when they feel her power. Like bushwhacking up a hill to find a long-forgotten fort or climbing through the rock scramble to get to the top of Old Rag. Like getting wet in a cold stream while hunting for salamanders and crayfish (and then getting pinched by those same crayfish). Or hiking in the snow. I still remember camping as a kid and waking up to snow all around our tents – and that was back in the days of cotton sleeping bags, brrr! (Full disclosure: I do prefer “glamping” these days and just bought some very comfy cots for this summer’s outings).
|Planting trees in the rain|
The bottom line is, we don’t have to wait for 70 degrees and sunny to venture out with the kids. Some of their most memorable experiences will be when nature wasn’t at its easiest!