|Intrepid explorers on route to the Cooper Spur, a feature of Mt. Hood.|
I love being outdoors. This is what I want to pass on to my kids. Religion? Why not. Politics? Can't hurt. But the big thing, the one I think about more than others, is teaching the kids to enjoy themselves outside. The purity of solitude, the beauty of the land, the joy of being able to be really, really loud and not have anyone tell you to be quiet -- these are only a few of the benefits.
As an adult I realize that I will be happier not to stake so much emotional capital on this outcome. I joke that I don't want to be a "football dad," someone who berates his kids to pursue his idea of a life well-lived. My daughter has picked up on this, somewhat, and tells me not to be a football dad when I tell her to clean her room.
Since my kids were born I wanted to go on a long hike, where each participant carried his/her own water, food and gear. Saturday we achieved this goal by hiking up to the Cooper Spur, a feature on Mt. Hood. We hiked four hours up, two coming down.
Thing got dicey when a kid got frustrated with loose rock and a steep slope, coming dangerously close to a cat 4 meltdown when a bug flew into the water bottle. Cooler heads prevailed and the day went well (I got the bug out and traded water bottles).
If all continues to hold we are on track to attempt Mt. St. Helens next summer. I can't wait.
|Pre-hike logistics and organization courtesy of the seven-year-old.|