Middle Earth

photo 1 (4)There were snacks and an end in mind, and like Lewis and Clark, my wife and two kids and I plunged into a forest so primeval that the kids were expecting to meet Hobbits.

The day before had been a bust. Well, it had been fantastic for about thirty switch-backing, Cascade Mountain Range tromping minutes before my eight year old son realized that so far this hike had been 100% uphill and the woods were getting darker. Even if his parents were too dim to remember every fairy tale ever, he did, and he was done walking deeper into the forest. So then, were we.

Today, however, was better planned: a snack pouch, a fancy flavored water, the promise of a hidden lake at the end of the walk, and hints (if our trek was successful) of real Hood River huckleberry pie.

photo 5The planning was my wife’s, brilliant as always, and amazingly effective. If I were half as good as a principal as she is as a mom I’d win awards.

I’m just a few days from the end of my summer, and as I begin to start to begin starting to begin to start beginning to plan for what I hope is an great year, I know that the difference between a meltdown and Middle Earth is preparation, a positive attitude, and a clear vision for the goal of the journey.

Snacks help too, and maybe pie at the end.

I won’t draw out the inevitable analogy here; anyone reading this post is clever enough to see how the parallels might go. Instead I’ll admit that the absolute sense of wonder I felt as we hiked along the Pacific Crest Trail was unlike anything I’ve experienced in nature in years.

Towering fir trees.

Mossy stones from time out of mind.

Ripe blackberries, sweeping vistas, and even the surprising appearance of a pair of wild turkey as we neared the lake.

…all with people I love.

I can hardly wait for the school year to begin.

photo 2 (3)

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