Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"The Game Commission has set the legal limit on campers to 3. So if you're hiking today wear something bright and keep low."-Tripper, Meatballs


See the charcoal in the bag, underneath the grill that will soon be hot? Man, talk about foreshadowing.

After enough caffeine to give a hippo a heart attack, I trudged up the hill with The Boy to the designated Cub Scout meeting place. Time for a hiking trip. Unlike Houston where the only changes in elevation are skyscrapers and overpasses, the park where we were staying actually had some differences in elevation. A group of over twenty Cub Scouts and even more parents started off the hike.

The Boy capered up the trail, like a terrier in search of a pork chop. If there is a thing in nature that attracts boys more than hiking, that thing is dirt. Fortunately, hiking also involves a huge amount of dirt, unless you’re sea-hiking, which normal people would call swimming.

As we reached forks in the trail where other Scouts became tired, it almost became a challenge with The Boy. “We’re going the long way.”

And the long way we went, ending the hike at (my guess) about four miles. I’m pretty sure The Boy didn’t bother to look around, in anything but the most academic sense – The Boy was intent on hiking not looking at silly things like trees or the surrounding countryside. For looking at things we have the TV. Trails are for hiking, and going. It doesn’t matter that where we’ll end up is where we started, to The Boy the sheer Zen of hiking was all.

After we got back, I asked him, “Ready to go again?”

Bad choice, John Wilder, because his answer was as quick and unequivocal and earnest as a group of Enron® executives when asked if they’d like to lie for money. “Sure.”

I promised The Boy that we could hike before we left the next day.

We went back to our campsite and had sandwiches. After sandwiches, we went to the organized Cub Scout achievement thingy, where The Boy studied all things manly and was compensated for his study and action with a series of tiny metal loops that he could put on his belt. None will hold a Blackberry™, but that’s probably a good thing.

The night brought dinner time. I again fired up the grill with charcoal, this time using enough to heat Bill Gate’s place. The water boiled nicely for coffee and cocoa. As I did this, I turned my attention to the campfire.

The campfire (for our campout) was partially for aesthetics and cooking marshmallows, but in the licking flames and intense heat, there comes a sense of peace, of man having tamed fire for his own uses. In the campfire there is a sense of a minor mastery of nature. I think fewer people would have mental problems if they could just toast marshmallows over a fire with a seven year old.

The peace of the fire was shattered when I looked over at the grill. My mastery of fire was entirely defeated when one of the heaped pieces of burning charcoal fell into the bag of charcoal in the “to be burned later” category. Well, later was now.

I don’t know about you, but I can barely get charcoal to light in the first place when I want it to light. Here, by the grace of gravity and my own stupidity, I had created a massive conflagration of charcoal. A great column of flame shot from the charcoal as it and the bag were consumed.

It was okay. I was in a whole gaggle of Cub Scouts. Somebody probably knows the whole formula to put out fire, right?

Oh, yeah, water.

An evening of seven-through-eleven year olds telling jokes and ghost stories followed. The Boy and I headed back to our tent, which we packed up the next day.

“We’re going hiking, right?”

In truth, Internet, I was still sore from the last time, so I tried to placate The Boy with promises of a gazillion dollars when he was 76. He did not buy it.

We went hiking, this time on the trail listed as “Difficult.”

The Boy again was a hiking machine, and my soreness worked itself out about a mile into the trip. We went far higher, and actually spooked a few deer (they make seriously huffy sounds when you sneak up behind them, since they pride themselves on being sneaky and deer-like) and I only got us lost twice, neither of them seriously.

We drove home. About three hours into our trip, The Boy was looking melancholy. I was worried he missed The Mrs., this being almost as long as he’d ever been away from her.

“What’s the matter, Sport?”

“I miss our campsite.”

Boys. Dirt. Hiking. Camping. Fire.

These things all seem to go together. Oh, and greasy Whataburgers®.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please do not use the term "Sea-hiking" around the Boy. Evar. The last thing we need is for him to continuing making up his own laguage.

I was informed the other day that I had reached the "sit limit" which apparently has to do with whether or not I push him in the swing. I think.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Sweet Yet Sassy said...

Ha! What I was going to comment about is exactly what the Mrs. does NOT want you saying anymore! LOL

"unless you’re sea-hiking, which normal people would call swimming." - That was actually quite ingenious! I like to make up words/phrases. I figure language was originally made up by someone anyway....who says you can't create your own?! :)

10:28 AM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

It's a good thing you were with a bunch of cub scouts instead of grown men. Otherwise, you would have been dousing your charcoal fiasco with (gasp) beer instead of cocoa.

Have a fabulous turkey day. I'll eat a pie for you!

8:45 AM  
Blogger John said...

the mrs.,
It only gets worse from here. Enjoy your mimsy borogroves.

sweet yet sassy,
I like to sea-hike. In our ground-water-hole. Er, pool?

dame koldfoot,
You're right, oh, the humanity, all that wasted beer!

9:50 PM  

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