Saturday, August 24, 2013

Daylight Hike

We’ve just sent two kids off to college.  We’re adjusting to the new normal, which is just the three of us: Husband, Youngest Daughter, and me.

Today was a gorgeous day, and we had a free afternoon.  My husband proposed going into town for a walk along the river, but YD wanted to go for a hike in the local park, at a spot famous just to our family.

Fleet of foot, YD frequently had to stop and wait for us old fogeys.
Two years ago, for twenty terrifying minutes, Youngest Daughter went missing in the park as night fell. It happened after our synagogue’s annual outdoor worship service.  At dusk she had gone by herself on one of the hiking trails into the woods, with no flashlight and without telling anyone where she was going.  What?  Didn’t hanging out with her Boy Scout brother teach her anything?!  She had walked along the trail, happily communing with nature, until she noticed that it was quite dark, and then she turned around and walked back.  While we were calling the police, one of her synagogue teachers walked part-way down that trail in the dark, and found YD.

Today she said she wanted to hike that trail in the daylight.  After we entered the woods, the trail quickly led away from the picnic site.  We encountered some wildlife:  a snake, a cyclist, a leafcutter ant, a doe and two fawns.  We knew we weren’t too far from suburbia, though, because we could hear music and the referee whistle from the football field through the woods below us. 

Exotic wildlife.  Actually, we get deer in our yard at night.
Our neighbor has offered to shoot them.
Momma Deer did not stop staring at us.  Maybe WE were the exotic wildlife.

We had walked for about 20 minutes when I said to YD, “Well, this is probably farther than you went in the dark two years ago.”  She said, “No, I remember this spot. I went much farther than this.” 

We kept going, and the hillside along the trail got quite steep.  My husband said, “This was not the leisurely stroll I was imagining.”  I asked what he was imagining, and he said, “The Champs-Elysées.  With a café au lait at the end of the hike.” 

We heard the noise of the football game in the distance.  I offered hope. “There might be a concession stand at that football game.  Maybe they have sno-cones.” 
Not the Champs-Elysees.

He said, “A confession stand?!  I don’t want to confess anything! I just wanted to go for a walk.”  After another 10 minutes we turned around. 

Maybe next year we’ll get to hike the Champs-Elysées avec café au lait, but today I feel fortunate that nobody got lost or injured.  We even got a nap afterwards, no confession required.


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I confess that your husband's idea of a walk sounds pretty marvelous -- especially after reading about the hike your daughter took a few years ago! Yikes!

Alison said...

I predict that within 10 years, Starbucks will start setting up café au lait stands at the end of hiking trails.

Cassi Renee said...

I'll go hiking with your husband anytime!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

A confessional stand isn't a bad idea at the end of a hiking trail...I often find all that solitary time in nature makes me pretty reflective!

The Crislers said...

I see deer all the time on the train near our house, but I can never take a photo quick enough. As soon as I raise my arm to snap a pic, they bolt. Looks like a lovely walk!