Get outside, Family!

Get outside, Family!

Monday, October 19, 2015

One Family Hiking Story

The sun was shining Sunday morning when I suggested a walk in the woods as a family. By the time we got going – after laundry had been folded, breakfast dishes put away, kids pried away from morning TV – it was raining. Actually, it was more of a hail/sleet/snow mix. I’m not sure what got us out of the warm, dry house and into that weather, but we did it. It turned out to be one of the best hikes together we’ve ever had. 

I use the word “hike” loosely; more adventurous types might call it an amble, or even a stroll. But I think we get bonus outdoorsy points for being out in the first sleet of the season. We are lucky to live near Slippery Rock Creek Gorge in McConnells Mill State Park. Glacial melt carved the dramatic cliffs and rock formations, leaving lots of fascinating overhangs, boulders to scramble over and waterfalls to find. It kept us moving and we soon warmed up. And the sun did come out.

There were complaints at times, I admit. Someone didn’t bring a warm enough jacket and had to borrow his father’s. Someone mentioned that we’d now have to walk UP the big hill we’d just come down, causing someone else to start whining that he needed a piggyback ride. But eventually, everyone quieted and became engaged in watching kayakers brave the creek, climbing the highest boulder, noticing how the sun ignited the golden leaves, or just walking ahead of the rest, alone. I’m so glad we came outside.

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