View Sidebar

A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Hiking with Grandchildren

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 5/27/2024
Occurred: 10/23/2022
Posted: 11/1/2022
Page Views: 603
Topics: #Autobiography #Dominic #Giamma.Zachary #Ella #Lilly
A beautiful walk in the Superstitions with beautiful youngsters.

My arthritis has kept me from hiking as much as I used to. But there was no way I would turn down an easy hike with the grandkids!

There are days when you get subtle hints that the kids need to get outside.

My eldest grandson, Zach, invited me to go with him and his two younger siblings on an easy hike in the Superstitions.

We also brought my two dogs, Ella and Lilly. (Ella's the light Golden Retriever; Lilly's the cattle dog.) At first we kept them on leash, as the rules here require.

But after awhile, when it became evident we were the only people hiking this trail today, we decided to let the furbabies loose. They are well-behaved anyway; and stay close to us.

Dominic, my youngest grandchild, is so full of wonder that it's simply joyful to see. Things an adult takes for granted, like a weathered root, are novelties to him.

"Papa," he asked me, "what would happen if we got lost?" I started to assure him that we really couldn't, since we could see the parking lot and could just cross-country straight to it if we had to; but he apparently thought I thought he was really worried, so he added, "I don't mean we would perish! I just thought we might have to spend the night."

I've never before known a 6-year-old who could use the word "perish" in a sentence, not to mention appropriately and casually!

My grandkids never cease to impress me.

This plant is called a teddy bear cholla. It is, as you can see, a type of cactus. Those fluffy-looking balls are actually composed of spines, and the spines have little hooks on the end. They are designed to attached themselves to passing animals. Eventually they fall off, or are removed, and left in a location far from the parent cactus. That's how they procreate.

I warned the kids, but apparently Ella didn't believe me; because she came to my limping, with one of those things fastened to her paw.

I managed to get it off, but it wasn't easy. And I know it hurt her while I did it. But you know what I love? That Ella trusts me so much, she knows I would never hurt her except, as in this case, to help her out of a jam.

We've been taking Dominic and Gianna, his sister, on campouts and hikes all their lives. So it also warms my heart to see how comfortably they walk trails and keep an eye out for landmarks.

And, despite being able to spot the parking lot in the distance, this is an exquisite enviroment to appreciate and enjoy.