The boy and I set out from the park's playground to hike to Meditation point. It was 60 degrees with a slight breeze and overcast. Even though the 1/2 mile hike was up hill the boy walked the entire way which was impressive almost a month before his fourth birthday. We whispered and walked quietly in order to see more wildlife being careful of the numerous Virginia Pine littering the forest floor (they had succumbed to the appetite of the Southern Pine Beetle.) After reaching the covered bench at the summit of the ridge, we sat and listened to the loud voices of hikers on Lake Trail below us. This was disturbing to the boy and he definitely did not want to proceed in the direction of the people stomping through the woods. The boy asked me if there were bad things in the woods. I reassured him that the mall was far more dangerous.I cleaned out the garage today, and with some of my books and maps I found a piece of paper with March 10th 2007-Big Ridge State Park- The boy and I written at the top. The following is what was written:
Resuming our travel we left the trail for a short time (I know we are not supposed to but we were having fun) to try to catch a peek of a gray squirrel we had heard but could not see as our view was obstructed by a dead fall. While we never made the squirrel, several turkey scratches were noted in the thick leaf litter. We retraced out steps back down the ridge with the company of a hairy wood pecker who flitted about in the hardwood trees that were scattered about in this primarily pine forest. Even though the forest was barren since most of the evergreens were dead and the deciduous trees had not leafed out yet, the views of Big Ridge Lake and its small dam were memorable. The views were lost on the boy who busied himself collecting leaves and examining sticks. Which tickled me since he usually did not like to git his hands dirty. I think the natural instinct is in him for the outdoors.
As we exited the woods, we made a left and walked down to the shore of the lake. I sat on a bench and watched the boy throw rocks in the water, scattering Water Walkers and overflowing my heart. After thirty minutes of this simple but enjoyable diversion a light rain sent us back to our truck. However, before we could leave the parking lot, we were already planning the next great father and son adventure.
I stood in the garage in awe of the blessings in my life and all God has given me. A familiar voice shook me from my daydream, it was the boy who is now a seven year old second grader. "Hey dad I finished cleaning the top of the deep freeze, will you throw me the ball please" he said with his baseball bat on his shoulder. I said " my pleasure son" and spent Saturday in the yard with my son. Your pal the happiest man on earth.......I mean the Envirocapitalist.