Whether it be in the late fall or the early spring, when the temperatures start resting somewhere between 60 and 80, I start yearning for hiking days with picnic lunches. For several years we would buy a pass that would give us entry into all the state parks, and when the weather was cool we would start planning our weekends around which park we would like to explore next. We had a goal, that remains unmet to this day, of seeing all the parks in the state. We did see quite a few of them though, and have many memories of these times together as a family.
I always started out the day with the vision of us all walking down the path together, identifying wildflowers, trees, and animals, and singing hiking songs. In reality, what would happen was quite a different scenario. We would walk together for about 3 minutes, at which time the kids would decide we were not walking fast enough, and they would disappear around the bend. We would catch up with them somewhere down the path, only they would no longer be on the path, but rather would be halfway up a cliff or boulder. I would have to give them the required motherly lecture about being careful, watching for snakes, and not getting lost. They would respond with the insincere, yes mother, and we would continue on our way. Somehow we all managed to have fun, in spite of each other.
There is nothing that tastes so good as a sandwich, chips, and a cold Dr. Pepper at a picnic table in the middle of a state park. The beauty of the outdoors coupled with the hunger brought on by lots of exercise is the perfect combination for culinary appreciation. It doesn’t matter if the wind is blowing all the napkins away, or if the sugar bees are buzzing around the table, it is still such a feast for the mouth and the soul.
I can’t imagine that hiking will ever again be a part of my life to any great extent. I don’t know where I would go, or who I would go with. But I dream of a day when I can talk Strokeman into at least going to a local park for a picnic. At any rate, I am thankful that we made the time to go as often as we did.
Moments to remember.