As I look back at the last few days/week, and some of the heated discussions that have popped up, along with some feelings being hurt, I think of why I started this hobby......My Dad.
When I was a little kid, my dad would take my brother and I up to New Hampshire to climb Mount Monadnock (the most climbed mountain in the world). We would also go trekking around in the wonderful New England fall weather. We would listen to him tell us about the simple, wonderful pleasures in life that can be found from any trail head. He let me know that the awesome scenes on any trail are "FREE" of charge. (except to park at some places). He planted the hiking seed in me.
The last few years, with Dad in Connecticut and myself in AZ., I would exchange my Sedona hiking stories for his barefoot Sierra club hiking stories. It has been about 6 years since Dad an I hiked together.
I am flying home (Connecticut) for Thanksgiving. My Dad asked me if I wanted to use the car to hang out with my old friends on the Saturday I will be there. I turned him down and issued a request of him......That we go hiking together. He is older now, but still has the eye for the more awe inspiring things in life, like a good hike. I will cherish every step we take on our hike. We choose to do one of the Lake Zoar hikes.
With the two of us so far apart we don't get to hike much anymore, but when we do, it is great. At 33 years old, and a self proclaimed Bad-@$$, I feel like a little kid following my Dad in the woods. There isn't a darn thing in the world that can or will phase me. For the last week and for the next few days I sit impatiently, like a kid on Christmas morning in front of the unwrapped gifts.
My point is this: My Dad will not be here that much longer. He is of good health, but just not a kid anymore. As long as I know that we can hike together, my world is perfect. He will never be taken for granted.
With that, I wish you all a Happy Turkey Day. On Thanksgiving I will be thankful that my Dad ever took me hiking.