Friday, August 27, 2010

Climbing Mountains

I went into the woods with these hoodlums yesterday. 9:30 a.m. sharp.

To climb the second highest peak in Vermont. For something to do.

I had 2 peanut butter and honey sandwiches, 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a bag of Flavor Burst gold fish, a bag of pretzel sticks, a big bag of trail mix, a bag of dried apricots, 10 granola bars, 9 apples, and a bag of gummy bears.

There was green lichen. green moss. green ferns. green leaves. And red mushrooms.

And one man on top telling us not to step on anything that was green.

And after we ate our peanut butter and jelly (or honey) sandwiches, we got cold.

And after we got our ten minute view of the top of the world, we got cold.

And after we sipped a few of the clouds, we got cold.

But before we exited the rocky summit, I took in the sheer significance of these toos first hike up a mountain. Any mountain. When I think of their lives and the number of mountains they'll hike, both literally and figuratively, I was glad to be able to teach them a few of the important rules of hiking. The first one being: always let climbers coming up the mountain have the right of way. If it's a lesson they can apply to their lives, I hope they will always help anyone working their way up.

When we came out of the woods 6 hours after entering it, I had half a bag of pretzel sticks, 1/4 of a bag of gold fish, 3/4 of a bag of gorp, 4 granola bars, and 9 apples.

I had full on signs of fall.

I had full on memories of hiking with my father in the mountains of New Hampshire when I was a little girl. And of being mesmerized by this leaf...the hobblebush...and its shade of fall purple.

And its bright red berries that look like spots of blood on the green backdrop of the forest.

I had full on images of young boys peeing on each other.

And images of my young boys becoming young men just by the way they walked with their hands in their pockets.

I had one girl who almost lost her teeth when she slipped on a rock, one boy who professed his love for said girl, one girl who pretended like she was from New Zealand the whole way down, one boy who didn't complain the whole day, which was a slight miracle, and one dog who was able to feast on the shit of humans who poop in the woods. We could smell her breath around every corner.

It's amazing what can happen in 6 hours in the woods.


  1. Wow. Time in the outdoors, once standard fare, seems now as rare as open spaces. Lucky kiddos. Lucky you, for being present and capturing it, and lucky us for bearing witness.

  2. You are more than..amazing..
    your words are like a song..effortlessly mellifluous.. that picks me up and carries me.
    I miss you and when I find you in my mind, like right now.. with teh sun now turned up high and my country bike waiting for me against the screen door.. i know. no i KNOW it is going to be an excellent day!
    i would love a visit.. email me or ill send you a message on facebook.
    i love you.

  3. When they finally DO get married, we'll have MANY embarassing stories to are AMAZING.

  4. So did they sleep well that night? Sounds like a perfect way to spend the day. And just the other day, I was trying to remember who had the right of way, going up or down. Thanks for the education and a way to remember too.

  5. well - all i'll add is a shout out to the first successful mt climb (out and back) for those 9 apples. (that's enough mushiness from me).

  6. And now anonymous, you are no longer anonymous. What will I do?