Monday, March 26, 2012
Hiking with your kid
Looking at the cover picture of 'Up: A mother and daughter's peakbagging adventure', I formed an idea of the author hiking into the real wild. After reading the book I realize that it is as much about the young kid who hiked as much as of the mother who was in all the situations, terrible and exhilarating that you find yourselves on two feet in the mountains with as little or as much comfort that you can carry with you.
I like the motivation of the author Patricia Ellis Herr to provide an environment for her children where they can be immersed in nature. What better than hiking mountains? Hiking, strenuous as it can be, is bound to give you the high of achievement too. Alex, the kid draws the mountain, not content with scaling it. When we see the same person twice on the same hiking route, we wonder and ask if he/she is training for something. So if a hiker sees a kid then there will be some questions and encouragement. I know a kid age 6 who can hike 6 miles. I heard of a kid who was out to visit as many national parks as she can.
When the author realized that her daughter could hike peaks, a flyer about peak bagging the forty eight 4000fters in the Whites got her started on with the goal of attaining it. Their experience hiking together with unexpected events and outcomes is an engaging read. Hiking on the trails is no less of an adventure, especially when you have a kid along. With hiking, starting from losing way, to not having enough supplies, to fickle weather, anything can happen and that’s what makes it interesting in going from point A and returning back to it. Added to this in the nature’s bounty, you get close to clouds and happiness. Then there are the denizens of nature who can stop you on the trail. But you have to go on to the peak or home. As I kept reading of the hikes, I was reminded of the profiles of the mountains that I have hiked and points where we had encounters with animals. The last peak bagging event was interesting to imagine with all the community support shown to Alex.
There will be a comparison with Tiger Mom book. In this book, we get to know the child who is on a mission. The author balanced her presence with her daughter’s persona in the book. The author’s non-hindering parenting style includes the child’s wishes too. I recognized the father Hugh Herr from ‘The Sorcerers and their apprentices’. His story of how he came to have prostheses is illuminating of how an adventure can end on a wrong note.