This is part 2 in our “Thankful for wild places” series. Why are YOU thankful for wild places? We would love to hear from you.
I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. I would define my childhood as “sort of wild.”
My dad and I went car camping. Or motorcycle camping as I got older. We went hiking some. He even tried to get me interested in fly fishing. Sorry, Dad. And my mom and I would go for drives in the hills just to get out of town. I did hike Black Elk Peak once or twice (then it was Harney Peak).
Before I was a parent, I had grand plans to hike all over with my child. I was going to raise this wonderful, outdoorsy, inspired child.
Thea’s first summer, I did go hiking with her. I quickly learned that even moderately steep hikes were out of the question. Low blood pressure and nursing (which left me perpetually dehydrated) made sure of that. So Round Lake, the Ross Creek Cedars, Regal Creek, East Fork Creek, these were our stomping grounds.
Fast forward to her third summer. At 36lbs, there was no way I was carrying her in our kid-toting pack. So, she hiked and sometimes she hung out on my shoulders. And it was not every weekend. Not even close.
You know what? I am still raising a wonderful, outdoorsy, inspired child. She loves nature, is the kind of curious only a 2-year old can be, and LOVES huckleberries. She will talk about even the shortest hike for weeks after.
Even if it’s infrequent, exploring wild places is important. We come back exhausted and rejuvenated. I’m thankful to live so close to the incredibly wild Scotchman Peaks. And more thankful that my daughter is able to discover nature in its purest form. Even if it’s not every weekend. For our family, growing up “sort of wild” is just fine.