Tuesday, May 26, 2009
A few weeks ago I was hiking with my dad. We were on a trail we have hiked for years. In fact, our stopping point is a little creek my dad named years ago: Platt Creek. When we were young and thought the hike would never end, Dad would always encourage us, "Just a little farther til we get to our creek. Don't you want to see Platt Creek?"
There are a lot of memories associated with the trail. I can see our trusty collie on the trail with us...running to the front and then to the back, always guarding her group of little hikers.
When we get to the waterfall I always think of the rock climber who got stuck. He was clinging to the wall for his life. If he fell he would at the least be badly injured, but the chances were even greater that he would die. When we heard his cry for help my dad and grandpa jumped into action. Dad ran back down the trail to get help (this was before cell phones) and my grandpa threw a rope down to the man who somehow managed to get it around himself. Grandpa Platt sat on the edge of the cliff holding onto that rope and reassuring the man that he would be okay.
I think of picnics and summer days and I am filled with peace.
But back to the hike a few weeks ago.
We had reached Platt Creek and were on our way back down the mountain. We had played the usual game of "What is the scientific name of this plant?" ... It's holodiscus Dad...see, I remember it. Dad stopped and pointed out a large juniper that had long ago fallen and was now rotting on the side of the trail.
"This was the largest and prettiest of all of the junipers growing on this mountain," Dad told me. And then he pointed to a spot and said, "It was growing right there."
"There was a big avalanche a few years ago and the tree was taken out. You can see how far the avalanche went," Dad said as he pointed further down the trail. "It stopped right there."
We talked about the avalanche for a few minutes and then continued down the trail.
I've thought a lot about that evening hike. There is something incredibly comforting in knowing that my dad is so keenly aware of his surroundings - that he takes the time to study and know the ins and outs of even our local mountains. I'm glad to know that no matter where I go or how old I get, as long as Dad is around, I will be taken care of.
Posted by Noelle at 10:41 AM