Rhymes With Fuchsia

Monday, November 02, 2009

Taking a Hike

Right after Miss B started school a call went out for volunteers to chaperone her team on a field trip to Mount Wachusett. I had chaperoned her second-grade class on two such trips, and I had fond memories of an easy hike up a wide, gently sloping trail. I was in better shape then, but I figured the exercise could do me good. Grant, who didn't go on the second-grade hikes but who has been working out three or four times a week for the last year or so, also signed up. Then we forgot about it until a week ago last Friday, when Miss B informed me that she didn't need lunch money because of the field trip. "What fie... yikes," I replied, and ran upstairs to put on my long johns. (This turned out to be my smartest decision all day. I may have been slow, but I was warm.)

The first thing we learned when we got to school was that the kids were divided into groups of five, and that we would be hiking several different trails up the mountain, with three or four groups assigned to each trail. "One trail gets really steep toward the end," said one of the teachers on our bus. "I hope I don't get that one."

The bus missed the trailhead the first time, so we began our hike a bit later than the other groups. We had a nice group of kids (not including Miss B, who preferrred to be in a different group), and the first two-thirds of the trail was easy.

The kids had a list of items to find and photograph, which included one interesting thing of their choice. They picked this enormous fallen tree.

Shortly after that the trail began to get steeper, and steeper, until we realized that this was probably the abovementioned "really steep part," and for the last couple of hundred yards I was very glad Grant was there: I wasn't talking to the kids, or anyone else for that matter, because I needed all my breath for breathing. I made it to the top, just barely, and I collapsed onto a picnic bench and enjoyed the view for a few minutes while the kids went off to explore.

It was some view, I have to admit. I recovered enough to take some pictures, and then I walked over to join everyone else. All the other groups but one got to the top before we did, and we were just pulling out our bag lunches when the teachers announced that it was time to start hiking down... except for us. Because of our delayed start we got to take a few minutes to eat, and then we rode the bus back down.

It was great fun, except of course for that last couple of hundred yards up. I would do it again. But just in case I get the chance I'm going to make a lot more use of the local conservation land from now on. Time for walkies!


  • Last year I convinced my family to hike up Mt. Monadnock. I love to hike, my kids don't (they really don't like my hiking suggestions), DH will only because I thought of it. Well, I thought I was going to die! Truly! About 1/3 up the trail, I wanted to turn back but knew my kids would never let me forget about dragging them on the hike then turning back. We finished...loved the view and have no regrets, just an interesting family story. I'll have to look into hiking Mt Wachusett. :)

    By Anonymous llmcguire, at 6:55 AM  

  • What a charming group of kids. And what a great assignment for the photographer. You are GOOD parents!! I have learned that you can make it up any incline as long as you take your time, stop to catch your breath, and just don't quit.

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:25 AM  

  • Great view! Ah yes, I remember field trips, though it's been a while ;)

    By Anonymous Joy, at 11:40 AM  

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