In retrospect, it may have been wiser to have sat in the shade somewhere and sucked on ice chips.
Or tossed ourselves in the lake. Or opened the freezer door at a mini mart and stared at the ice cream. For an hour.
It’s hard to know what ‘wiser’ is when the ability to think checks out at 90 degrees.
Which is how or why we drove ourselves 32 miles up the Entiat River Road to Silver Falls in the 104 degree heat. Hiking made sense at the time. Sort of.
The last three summers, I’ve stood my kids against the Silver Falls sign and clicked the camera. We’ve got pics with baby teeth, no teeth, one huge beaver tooth, short hair, little legs. We’ve even got a kid with the same shirt on from the year before.
And for what it’s worth, I love the sign pics. Love them better than I love the dated pencil marks on my kitchen wall. It’s the tangible changes in their faces. I just…I just don’t tire of them. I couldn’t. Not this year. Not next.
And I’d wanted to do the same this summer–lean the kids in front of the sign–but the sign was over there. And we were here.
Actually. It was hot. And these rocks right beside the van trumped any sign across the parking lot.
What’s great about this hike is that the good stuff isn’t just at the end. It’s at the beginning, too.
And the middle.
And at little places along the way.
As often as the trail takes us away from the falls, it brings us back…
Which is why we’ve got water.
And hats. And a walking stick taller than ourselves.
And then, in an hour’s time plus some, it’s before us—-the top/the end.
Which, I suppose, is really more of the same. More sticks.
But none of that gets old.
It doesn’t. It can’t.
Not this year.