H is for Hiking

It’s early spring in North Carolina but Old Man Winter decided to make one last (I hope) appearance. The temps tonight are expected to dip below freezing. So my newly planted geraniums and pink petunia mixed planters will come inside – just to play it safe.

One person, much dearer to me than any flowers, who will not be inside tonight, is my son Will, who is on a backpacking trip in the mountains of North Carolina where the low tonight is supposed to be 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

That’s why I’m writing about hiking for my #atozchallenge today. Hiking as a restorative elixir. Hiking as a way to reconnect with the beauty and peace that the natural world offers. Hiking as a way to forget about your beloved Tarheels losing to Villanova in the NCAA national championship game last Monday – or at least to gain perspective. It’s hard to forget losses like that one.  Yes, it’s a good weekend to hike, even if the temps dip below freezing and the winds howl.

Hiking.1990Our family spent many weekends hiking when both kids were young. Sarah’s first trip was when she was 9 months old and she went to Yosemite when she was just about a year old, but Will, who was born on Earth Day (April 22, 1992) took his first camping/hiking trip when he was only six weeks old. It should come as no surprise that hiking and being outdoors is in their blood.

As a mother, I think it is impossible not to worry about your children. Fortunately, I have a spouse who worries too. Shared worry – much better than worrying alone. So here’s our conversation earlier today.

“I’m sure he’ll be warm enough while he’s hiking and as long as they stop before dark and start a fire they should be fine.”

“Yeah – I think that’s what they’re gonna do.”

“So they’ll be warm while they’re sitting around the fire.”

“Yeah – and they’ll be warm once they get in their sleeping bags in the tent.”

“I sure am glad they decided to take the tent.”

“Yeah – me too.”

“Yeah once he’s in his sleeping bag in the tent with an insulating layer underneath he should be fine.”

“Do you mean the sleeping bag is the insulating layer.”

“No, if he’s sleeping on a pad.”

“But he didn’t take a pad.”

“Well, it’s still better than sleeping in an Eno with the wind circulating underneath.”

“ Yeah – that would be cold – I’m glad they decided to take a tent.”

“Yeah – I think they’ll be fine.”

“Yeah – they’ll be fine.”

H – for hiking, heat and hoping he’ll be fine (but not for hypothermia – definitely NOT hypothermia.)

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