By Appreciable Goodfaithpoet
We recently went to Marsh Lake in the Uinta Moutains for a family vacation. My daughter and I hiked around Marsh Lake. We discovered that the lake is about ten times as long as it is wide and takes a lot longer to walk around that one might think. As we walked, I showed my daughter some plants and told her the names of them. I taught her how to identify nine-barks and mountain-lover. I said, "See that green colored stuff growing on the rocks? It is called a liken." "Is that because people like it?" She asked. A little later I asked, "Do you like being in the forest?" "Yes," Replied my daughter, "I like being a kid and going on a hike for my first time. There is so much to see. I've seen a squirrel and a moose and it smells so nice." As we walked further around the lake the trail grew a little more challenging for tall people. My daughter asked, "Why are the trees all not in my way?" "I don't know" I replied. My daughter then commented, "Maybe it's because you're bigger and I'm smaller... I didn't hit that one like you did."
After we were almost half-way around the lake my daughter seemed to be getting a little bit tired, "How about if you walk in front." I suggested, adding, "Then you wouldn't be left behind." My daughter began walking in front of me and said, "But you will." She then began laughing and walking really fast. I called, "Sweetheart, wait up." "See." She said with a giggle. My daughter saw a pine tree that had died and fallen to the ground. The bare and bark-less roots stuck up in the air in a tangled mass. "That looks like a slobbery monster," said my daughter, and then added, "...I want to ride it." I told her it would be alright for her to do so. She climbed up on the trunk of the tree like she was riding a horse. "Go" She commanded.
As we hiked further around the lake my daughter said, "I've never seen such beauteeeful things in my life." Three-quarters of the way around the lake my daughter really did start to get tired, she stopped walking and said "I need to sit on something smooth." As we rested, She said, "If we are quiet we can hear lots of things... Let's listen." After we listened we both shared what we had heard. "I can't wait to camp for a week." She said. As we started walking again my daughter said, "Hey, I jumped off of a log and I didn't even hurt myself." She looked into the grass along the shore and said, "We might wake up the beavers... This looks like where they live." A little later my daughter said in a disappointed voice, "I thought we would see wild berries on the way...But, I guess not. This has turned into a real hike. Like a hike up the mountains."
The sun was setting by this time and it was starting to get dark. My daughter said, "It's getting harder to see, but, I can still see good. I can see better than you because I have more..." Her voice trailed off. "More what?" I said, perhaps a little defensively. My daughter must have thought better about her earlier comments because she tried to change the subject a little. "My teacher Mrs. Johnson is even older than you." She said consolingly. "She's 32 I think. And that's REALLY OLD." As we were on the final leg of the hike I said, "Come on, Sweetheart." She replied, "You're not waiting for me and that's why I'm getting left behind, because you have bigger steps and I have smaller and trippier steps and that's why I'm getting left behind in the wilderness."
A little while later She saw another small burrow next to the trail and stopped to examine it. "Come on, Sweetheart." I said. "Ooohhh" She lamented "I wanted to see some baby Chipmunks."
By the time we got back to camp my wife had said a few prayers for us and even cried. I told everyone that I was very sorry for not letting them know where we would be going on our "little" hike. I also said I was sorry for making everyone worry so much. It was a long hike for a little girl with small feet and a really old man (I'm 30 years old) and we were glad to be back safe in camp.
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