Tuesday, February 18, 2014
It's the little things that matter most...
By Angus Ancheta Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I admit, I have spent a majority of my weekends in the woods lately. My daughter never complained that I was hardly home on weekends but I miss her and I wanted to share an adventure with her.
A trip to Henninger Flats had been discussed many times in the past few weeks. She's seen many photos from my past trips and when I told her that there would be ice-cold drinks after the hike, she was game.
Friday afternoon, I return home having leaving early from work. I raid the gear closet and dust-off her pack and ask her to bring items she wanted to bring for the trip. A Bear beanie, a Hello Kitty beanie, a stuff toy, Sudoku book, Rubber Band Bracelet Kit, and a tablet for movies were all gathered on the floor. With all the gear packed up, we move on to the kitchen and plan our menu for our weekend mini-adventure.
Saturday morning, excited for the trip, we haul our packs to the car and we're off. After short drive to the trailhead, we meet the rest of the group and we start our hike to camp.
We start our hike at 9:45AM, temperature starting to rise...it was forecasted to be a warm weekend and we were slowly feeling the heat shortly after hiking just a few yards. Luckily, I decided to bring the umbrella which, as always, proved to be invaluable.
A mile into the hike, her pace slows. This was the first hike we've done where she actually stopped a few times to drink water. I could tell the heat was getting to her. I offered to carry her pack to alleviate the fatigue that I could sense was getting to her. We stopped a few times on the trail to get some sugars in her system and some salts. Words of encouragement was also helpful. "You're doing great baby! A few more turns we're almost there...thank you for coming with me"...I was so proud of her for not giving up. On the way up, we noticed that we caught up to a group of kids who were ahead of us. We overheard once of the girls say that she was having cramps...they decided to head back down after hiking only 2 miles. I point this out to my daughter to give her more fuel that she was doing great...it helped.
We're close to the end! She made it to the marker indicating that we were only less than a mile from camp. At this point, one of our friends catch up to us and offers my daughter a sweet treat...thank you Barbara :)
Close to the end, I remind her that there will be cold drinks at camp and she can have as much as she wants. The prospect of a cold drink excited her and her pace quickens...on the last turn, we see a glimpse of the sign, she carries her pack again and completes the hike.
I cannot express enough how proud I am of this girl. She completed a tough hike! For those of you who have not hiked to Henninger Flats, it has a good amount of elevation gain...we completed the hike a little over an hour.
At camp, we finally get to relax, explore, and mingle. We also get to test a new 2-person tent...we're both excited about this as well.
A full day of activities pretty much tired her out. With the sun about to set, we have dinner...and popcorn (Thanks Gina and Nick!). Before going to bed, we head down to the museum and watch the history of Mt. Lowe.
Morning comes, and another adventure, sadly, comes to an end. After having breakfast, we pack up and start our trek back to the car. I always enjoy backpacking with my daughter. It fills me with great joy when I am able to share the happiness I feel when I'm on the trail. I just hope that she remembers these trips and remembers how much fun we both have. Another reason why I have this blog...it is something I can share with her as she grows up. Sometimes photos aren't enough...a simple narrative of events, I believe, help trigger memories.
Another adventure done...hopefully a memory she'll remember for a long time. If you have the chance to take your kids out on an adventure...do it. Local trips such as these don't cost much, maybe a tank of gas and the memory you share with your love ones are priceless.
As always, thank you for reading...see you on the trails.