The Camp Granola crew spent the first part of this week in the North Georgia mountains at one of our favorite haunts, the Hike Inn. In spite of our constant adventures and explorations, we hadn’t done a true hike in awhile so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get from them.
In younger years, getting through the 5-mile hike to the lodge (or any hike for that matter) was often just that… getting through it. The effort always proved to be worthwhile because of the intangible rewards of soaking up nature with them. But little legs tiring out long before trails-end, complaints about heat and bugs, and howls of protest over countless bumps and scrapes made the joy of these outings sometimes very hard-earned.
Slowly though, they’ve become easier. And this week we hit the pot of gold at the end of the hiking-family rainbow. I felt like I’d entered an alternate dimension but really it’s just maturity and experience finally merging into the makings of great trail buddies. George, who always falls at least once, took his bumps and kept trucking. Fred finally remembered not to get too far ahead without nagging reminders. Grousing about pack weight was blissfully absent from any trail discussions. We just hiked and talked. For once I didn’t feel like our trip was a lot of work. After years of patience, it just flowed.
I’ve mentioned before that Fred and George are geeks first, nature-boys a distant second. In all likelihood they’ll never be hard-core hiking/outdoor people but I know I’ve laid the groundwork for nature-appreciation and that they’ll value outdoor pursuits even if it’s never their passion.
So I leave you with this…
Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be. ~Khalil Gibran