Monday, August 15, 2011

Hiking rejuvenation

It has been too hot this summer for us to do much hiking. The last time we used the backpacks was at the beach in June. Not sure when we used them before that, though.

The weather this past Saturday was partly cloudy with a risk of showers, highs in the low 80s. We decided to risk it. In our attempts to perpetually shake things up, we tried out a new park that we hadn't visited yet - Medoc Mountain State Park - about an hour from our house.

The moment we arrived, Luke started whining. He didn't want to walk. He had to pee. He wanted to go home. We did our best to talk up the hike. We loaded Matt and Will into backpacks. Of course he wanted to get in one too... unfortunately we only have 2 backs to hold backpacks between the 2 of us adults. Like in seasons past, Luke is on his own to hoof it. The walking is good for his physical therapy.

He was in a pretty good mood when we started. We made the decision to take the 3 mile loop. About 10 minutes later, Luke's whining told us that might have been a bad move. Note the cyclic conversation below:

Luke: I want to go back to the van.

Me: We have to walk to get back to the van.

Luke: I don't want to walk anymore.

Me: That's the only way you're getting back to the van.

REPEAT. Again. And again. For the next 2 hours.

Luckily Matt, Will and Otis were in great moods. We thought we might be able to cheer Luke up with the creek along which we were walking. Unfortunately with the summer's heat, the creek was very low and stagnant. A couple that was also hiking said that their light-colored dog ran into the creek the day before and came out black from all the organics. We kept Otis away.

By the time we reached the halfway mark on the hike, Luke was crying loudly. He scared away whatever wildlife might have made the walk fun. He showed us the biggest crocodile tears he could. Incoherrent talking while crying was our hike soundtrack.

I love the outdoors.

In the last mile of the hike, there were 1/10th mile markers that counted down. We got Luke moderately interested in looking for the next mile marker - we told him that after we passed mile marker 1, the van would be our next stop. That was the happiest he looked all day. I've never seen him enjoy counting backwards quite that much.

We're going to have to get back into the weekly hikes now that the weather appears to be cooling down. Definitely can't be shown up in October when we meet Uncle Drew, Nicole, Grandpa and Grandmama for a hiking weekend in Virginia... or perhaps we should get Luke his own hiking backpack for that trip? We'll definitely have more able backs to help with the heavy lifting (read: decrease Luke's whining) then!

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