{solsc} 18/31 #sol18 The Story of… an early morning hike

 

Saturday morning, 7:30 am

“Come on Hayden, remember we are off for a hike, get up, get some breakfast before we go.”

8:20 am

The car is VERY quiet as the four of us travel to Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  It is about a 30-minute drive away.  The sun is shining bright; it is a perfect blue sky Colorado morning.  The kids are half asleep in the back seat; they don’t look happy to be up this early on a Saturday to go hiking.

8:50 am

We park in a nearly empty lot and relish the peacefulness.  I have never been to this park before, so I am excited to try out some new trails.  As we slowly climb out of the car, I expect a blast of cold early March Colorado air, but am pleasantly surprised to feel the warm sun on my back.  I wonder if I’ll need the hat and gloves I brought with me.  As Hayden finishes a cold pancake, Brennan prepares his camera for photos.  Darren tosses me the car keys and heads out on an 8-mile run.   Still… not the happiest look on the kids’ faces; I wonder if this was a good idea.  Maybe I should have just come by myself and let them sleep in.

9:00 am

After checking out the warnings for bears, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions, we pick a 1.5-mile loop and head out.  The trail is very well marked, which makes it even easier to relax and enjoy the morning.  I walk ahead at a brisk pace, while the kids dawdle behind a bit.  We take in the beautiful views and are happily startled when a lovely bluebird takes flight out of a tree as we walk by.   Brennan stops to take a few photographs; Hayden waits and asks about what he saw.  As we continue the conversation grows as the kids start discussing their individual blogs.

After a bend in the trail, we come upon what appears to be a dead tree.

“Tap, tap, tap…”

“A woodpecker!”  Hayden exclaims as Brennan reaches for his camera.  The smiles and sense of wonder from my 14 and 12-year old warm my heart.

The hike continues; we notice a side trail that would add ½ a mile to our journey.  After consideration, we decide to go for it know Darren will take longer on his run.  The sun is higher in the sky now and I remove my gloves.  The sun provides so much warmth at altitude; it often seems 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the actual air temperature.

I walk a bit ahead, but the kids stop to climb a huge rock and photograph some moss.  Every time I look back they are lost in conversation.  It seems their mood has changed.

10:00 am

As I approach the car, I look back once more to see them stop at a sign together.  They walk side by side together, laughing, smiling, and enjoying each other’s company.  It seems they are awake and their mood has changed… the transformative power of a hike.  I knew it was a good idea to drag them out of bed.

5 thoughts on “{solsc} 18/31 #sol18 The Story of… an early morning hike

  1. Smiles.. love how this slice progresses from dragging teens out of bed to having them enjoy nature and being outdoors. Wish more parents did that. I’ve been to that park and it’s very pretty. Great details, telling of how Hayden finishes a cold pancake made me smile.

  2. This is always a good idea! I love that you all got to enjoy some sunny fresh air and new trails together. Hiking is such a wonderful adventure. I love doing this with my family as well.

  3. Nature’s power is transforming moment by moment. Your post brought happy memories of being in the west! I miss it.

  4. I loved the shift here, from wondering about bringing the kids to the certainty. Being outdoors seems to transform. Great slice.

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