Hiking day.
June 09, 2011

In the morning, the sunlight was peeking into the bedroom windows when I woke up.  I looked outside and I knew that it was a hiking day.
Warm weather makes my legs itch for the trail, makes my heart yearn for open skies, makes my lungs want to burn.  So I gather what we will need and then I wait impatiently for Charlotte to wake up.  As soon as she does, I take her to the hills.

When I park the car near the trailhead, my daughter cranes her neck around the car-seat to see where we are.  She sees the trees, with their familiar leaves, and shouts HORSE! NAY!  Last week when we were here, a woman on horseback passed us on the trail.  I’m surprised she remembers that.  I can almost hear the gears grinding in her brain.

HIKING!, she barks enthusiastically.  HIKING!  MAW-MAW, HIKING!

I lift her out of the car and after we’ve reviewed the hiking rules and I’ve double-checked that we’re prepared, we’re on our way.  We see rabbits in the brush.  BUNNIES!  MAW-MAW, BUNNIES!  We see nettles on the side of the trail.  STINGING!  MAW-MAW, STINGING!  We see poop at a fork in the trail.  YOTE! (coyote)  MAW-MAW, YOTE!

It is like this the whole hike.  For five hours straight, every imaginable thing is pointed at and exclaimed over.  I feel like I might lose my mind.  Charlotte wants to walk by herself the entire time.  Our hike ends up only about two miles long.  It isn’t at all what I had pictured when I thought we’d hike until we dropped.

Then I’m tucking her in her car-seat and she’s sleepily giving me kisses.  And then I’m pulling out of the parking lot and from the back-seat, I hear MAW-MAW?

Yes, baby?

HAPPY!  MAW-MAW, HAPPY!  HIKING HAPPY!

She’s asleep before I hit the freeway, of course, with dreams of bunnies and stinging nettles dancing through her head.  I can hear her breaths, deep and measured.  The whole way home, I think that this was the perfect sort of hiking day.


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  1. By on June 09, 2011

    It sounds like much more fun than the day you described about a year ago when she had to be bribed with a rock to get into the carrier. She then brained with that rock all the way to the car. Amazing the difference a year can make.

  2. By on June 09, 2011

    Yes, it was a perfect hike. Wish we were closer and could hike with you and Charlotte.


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