Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hiking with kids is so much fun!

Saturday my grandson John and I drove out to the Hill Country State Natural Area, Site of the Cactus Rose 50 and 100 milers, and the Bandera 100K, and 50K races and
also the site of many a Rockhopper training run. Only 40 miles from the northwest end of San Antonio, this park is so remote from the hustle and bustle of the city. I explained to John that there is no electricity and no running water and miles and miles of rugged nature trails. He was OK with that and excited!
Our running group, The Rockhoppers, planned a weekend retreat to the park for some camping, running, and socializing. We have such a wonderful group of runners and most importantly, a great group of friends. There is such a warm feeling when we get together.
Many in the group are training for the upcoming 100K, and also training for the 100 miler at Rocky Raccoon.
Me? My next race is the Bandera 100k but I have not been "feeling it" as far as training hard. I just don't feel like running long distances right now. Maybe my body is telling me something. I've decided and convinced myself that I am in taper mode.
It was a great opportunity to spend quality time with John. We'll hike the technical trails and hope that he finds it exciting enough to some day run these trails with his Grandpa.
John and I started our hike before the runners in the group got going Saturday morning. We headed out to Sky Island and sat on a scenic overlook just as the running group came by 2 miles into their run. They all paused to say hello, and everyone smiling.
John and I went back to the lodge to lead the next group of hikers.
The second group were non-running family members. Spouses and children. Besides Tim who came with us too. Nine of us! The kids were very inquisitive!
Liza's son, four year old Asa, brought along his first-aid kit just in case anyone got hurt.
We paused to look at the foliage and the beautiful views of the Texas hill country.
I think I enjoyed the hike as much, and maybe more than many of my runs at Bandera.
Watching kids get excited about steep hills, mountain views, plants, and nature's wonders, make me smile and feel young again.
I,John, Tim, and My long time friend John Palmer (founder of the Rockhopper group), went on another hike at noon. We got caught in the rain but it did not not dampen our spirits, it only enhanced our appreciation for our love of nature.

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