Yesterdays ramble up the Superior Hiking Trail was entirely within Duluth’s city limits, and yet, it felt remote. All four of us were involved in pulling this one off. Being a Sunday morning, we brought the church service along in the car for the drive out and back. It can be hard for kids to sit and watch Youtube during this age of social distancing, so we tried something different by listening while driving out there. It wasn’t perfect. I told them to be quiet, or, “Listen!” at least a dozen times. The ensuing experience was marvelous, however….
After Ely’s Peak, with the promise of an ice cold Slushy agreed upon as an appropriate bribe, the three of us continued on toward the next trailhead for a 4.5 mile hike together.
It had been about three days since my last foray into the forest, so it was magical to discover that the leaf development had about doubled since I enjoyed a run with a friend about 10 miles further up the trail (a relatively safe way to enjoy social distancing with a pal, methinks). The changes are so rapid this time of year, I hate to miss a single day. But, between harvest day on Thursday and a temporary side gig I just picked up, those days were lost. On the bright side, it’s all the more stunning to see all that has transpired since one’s last visit when these inevitable gaps occur. For reference, here’s how much less green there was just 3 days earlier, and at that time I thought the burst of color was particularly dramatic:
One of my kids hasn’t been as motivated to get out on the trail, but photography has proven to be an enticement:
I’m grateful for this.
Thousands of trilliums lined the path throughout the journey:
This stretch of the trail is loaded with numerous views.
Since the leaves have yet to fill in, you have full view of the underlying landscape. The bones of the forest floor, the structure of the land itself, are laid bare.
Emma was out in front the entire journey, running at times, pushing the pace. She was SUPER motivated to get that Slushy. I laughed and laughed….
Reaching the trailhead, the kids raced to the car where Mom was waiting. I lingered with the forget-me-nots growing at the boundary between the forest and the parking lot.
I think I’m coming to healthier and healthier terms with our family’s messiness. Frankly, I’d like to be active with them every day, but they aren’t as motivated as I am. Recently, I was amazed to encounter an old friend on Facebook running 12 miles with his kid (who is a bit younger than mine, I think) at an 8 minute pace! That’s incredible. Rather than feeling jealous, I’m happy to report a feeling of genuine happiness for them. Though I’ve never met the kiddo, I’m proud of his achievement, and look forward to seeing him push his limits in the coming years. If he runs competitively, he’ll be in the state meet for certain. Perhaps a contender for the title, being this far ahead of the rest of the pack already.
That said, we’re all on different paths. I can’t force my kids to love traversing the outdoors (bounding across the curvature of the earth) with the same level of ardency as I apparently have (same goes for my faith in God, reading books instead of wasting time on a game, writing, whatever). I’d be out there overnight backpacking with kids every week if they were motivated enough, as my schedule is extremely flexible. Who knows? Maybe we’ll arrive there in the end. All I can do is expose them to great things with a high degree of enthusiasm, and hope some of this stuff takes. All that is meant to say, remember, I don’t post anything about the many disappointing days that happen over here. We all share in those. BUT, there’s always today.
Today we can do something great. Without exception….
And great things only continued as the weekend went on. It was an amazing feeling to be an average Joe planting a family garden on Memorial Day weekend (more on that in an upcoming post about our emergency fund).
Check out this post (Adventure Begins When Things Go Wrong) about one of my favorite family adventures of all time, and man did it ever start out badly! We pushed through, however, and journeyed beneath (as in under) Ely’s Peak after much blood, sweat, and tears…