Tag Archives: City of Rocks National Reserve
As we neared Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park, on the middle day of a three-day family backpacking trip, a man and woman in their fifties stopped to talk with us. They sized up our kids and smiled; Nate was nine and Alex was seven. “We’re impressed!” they told us. “We never had any luck trying to get our kids to backpack when they were young.” We chatted a bit and then headed off in opposite directions on the trail.
After they were out of earshot, Alex turned to me, wanting to clarify a point: “You didn’t get us to do this,” she told me. “We wanted to do it.” Her words, of course, warmed my heart. But her comment also spotlighted the biggest lesson for parents hoping to raise their kids to love the outdoors: Create experiences that make them eager to go out again the next time. Continue reading →
In the dead-calm, 30-degree, predawn chill of a fall morning, our headlamp beams bore into the enveloping darkness on a trail through lodgepole pine forest in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. Stars salt what we can see of the sky through the trees. We’re not saying much, a little tired after having driven out here too late last night to camp, and not slept quite enough before rising at 5 a.m.
But then, it’s probably wise of us to hoard our energy in reserve, given the day laid out before us: at least 14 miles of hiking, with roughly two of those miles off-trail and nearly 4,000 feet of up and down, plus a couple pitches of rock climbing to a summit neither of us has stood on before. Continue reading →