Attitudes toward hiking – and a terrific book.
I confess. I was a baby boomer. My dad’s attitude toward the outdoors was pretty much shaped by his experiences in the army toward the end of WW II. Which is to say, if he never saw another tent or marched anywhere in nature again, it was just fine with him. So there wasn’t a whole lot of family time out in nature except Sunday afternoon trips to Niagara Falls the year my mom was pregnant with my brother. She stayed home, probably to nap, and toward the end of summer, when my dad mentioned a trip to the falls, he got a collective “Oh no, not AGAIN!” That said, we did go to Girl Scout camp when we were kids and I did love it.
When we were raising Hannah, she didn’t really like hiking after she was too big for the kid-backpack, so we had a long period of time where out outings were mostly biking with a trail-a-bike. That she did enjoy, particularly when she and dad could race past me on a stretch of country road.
So, it’s surprising that I like being out in nature at all. Just read a book by a mom with a very different attitude toward hiking, and I really loved it. Patricia Ellis Herr wrote a book entitled Up: A Mother an Daughter’s Peakbagging Aventure. So much to wonder about – sure wish my heath had been better when I was raising Hannah, sure wish HER heath had been better, that I realized she had inherited by thyroid issues – and wondering what could have been. It’s still an inspiring book, and to be sure, there is an awful lot to like about how Hannah turned out despite her own health challenges. Our kids are all different, after all.
But if you’re at all interested in hiking, it’s a terrific read – certainly as good as many AT journals, with a health dose of the challenges of raising strong and capable daughters.