Chataqua Hike

Last Friday we all went for a lovely hike up at Chataqua.  It was one of those perfect Colorado summery days–hot dry heat and blue open sky.

The wildflowers peppered our walk with sprays of purple, white, pink and blue.  Our champion hiker # 1 led the way.

About halfway up the trail, there was a cairn shrine of sorts.

It reminded me of the incredible balanced rock sculptures that we’d see along the San Francisco Bay as we walked from Ghirardelli Square to to the Golden Gate Bridge along the water.  Once we even saw the artist plying his trade, so to speak.  He’d pick up a rock, turn it over so its pointiest edge was facing the ground, and gently set it down on top of a flat rock.  He would hold it in place, looking completely still, until he found the perfect balance and would let go.  It was as if he was stilling the rocks from within himself and waiting for a harmony to ring clear from the stones themselves.  It was heart-stopping, and if you’re ever in San Francisco you need to find this small bayside rock garden and wonder at it.

Back here in Boulder, the boy made his own cairn to add to the pile.

The girl, in contrast, did nothing to find the inner stillness of sandstone and instead did this:

See? This is a perfect representation of her personality. You know she’s going to throw the rock, she knows she’s not supposed to, but she has an expression that seems to say, “If I look as cute as possible, they won’t be able to get mad at me and I’ll get away with murder.  Or at least throwing this rock.”

She then threw the rock, and only got a mild rebuke, proving that we are well-trained parents.

As I was going through the pictures of the hike, I saw this one and my heart leaped–when did she get so big?! I even get a little teary just thinking about it. When did she get to be a beauty? When did she grow to be so tall?  Wasn’t it yesterday that she…was…smallllll?

Before this becomes the blog version of a musical, I’ll stop myself. 

Chataqua is a great place for the little ones, with lots to discover along the trails and is just challenging enough–I think we’ll head out there a lot this summer.  Any other hikers want to come along?  For the hiking-averse, I’d like to remind you that hiking is just walking, only you have to avoid the snakes, wasps, and bears you might find on the trail.

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