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Friday, January 29, 2010

My Own Little Fledgling Hiker

Over the weekend, we had a beautiful break in the weather following a week of solid rain--a rare event here in the Coachella Valley desert. We decided to hit the trail with our 3 year old son. He had walked his first "hike" two years ago on this same trail! Much of the part we covered is fairly flat, but a little further back, it becomes a pretty good climb for a little guy, but he kept going--not without a few pleas to be carried, mind you. I kept daddy ahead of us as his motivation to go "just a little further."

I was really proud that he did keep going, even when he would get a little frustrated. When we got to the "top" we had some juice and fish crackers, we "ooh'd and ahh'd" over his rocks and stick (supreme treasures), and pointed out the Circus Vargas tent down in the mall parking lot, something you couldn't miss from our hilly perch.

My son was anxious to get down the hill, so we headed back. He liked going down hill, picking up rocks. My husband and I tried to get him to practice side stepping so he wouldn't slide. But he stayed toes forward and did just fine, despite our efforts! I decided to let him feel it out on his own. Trails are a great place for kids to learn balance and how their bodies move, like how to compensate when sliding! He never fell--on the hilly part anyway!

We came back through an area of large rocks, darkened with many centuries worth of patina, where he got in a little rock hopping and spied some ants. From there he narrated the rest of our journey with a mouth full of facts and fantasy. Eventually we made it back to the picnic tables, aka another fish cracker/apple bar break (our third), then headed home.

It took us two hours to cover a 20-minute span of trail, but at the risk of sounding cliche, it was the journey I appreciated most. I love experiencing nature through the eyes of my son, he is drawn to things that I take for granted on a trail. I value nature so much that I treasure every moment he delights in it. The experience is always a fun lesson in discovery for both of us!

The trail is a wonderful classroom :)


  1. Couldn't agree more! We took our first "real" hike with our 5 yo this past summer & I have a photo of him at the end all dirty & tired, but looking so proud. It's one of my most treasured possessions. :) Hiking with kids is never dull!

  2. Thanks for commenting Debi...I just love the sound of that photo! Hope to hear about future hikes with your little one -- you are so right, kids + trail = NEVER dull LOL :)