The List is Long and the Mountains Are High
(And, Heather took the pictures.)
Grandpa is 75.
If you are five, that number is very very big. You will want to remember how Grandpa just kept going. You will want to know that he overcame some obstacles to keep doing what he has always loved to do and so can you.
He hikes in the summer and when the snow is on the ground and in-between.
You will want to know that Grandpa climbs all sorts of mountains. He wears hiking shoes and carries a backpack filled with “the most important things”.
Ask him and he will tell you what those things are.
Sometimes he doesn’t even take a nap. That astounds me.
You will want to know that Grandpa hikes like this twice a week. Sometimes the hike takes only a few hours and sometimes it takes all day. You know what an hour feels like and how long “all day” can seem.
Grandpa once had a broken hip. He caught his foot on a tree root while walking along the edge of a lake. After he came to his senses, he leaned against a rock until his friend found him. You will want to know this because he was very brave. His friend found a walking stick and together they walked thirty minutes to the car and rode many, many miles on a dirt road until they could reach the smooth road. A doctor fixed the break with two long, fat, titanium screws. They are still where the doctor put them.
You will want to know about these things because you have a Grandpa with courage and one who sets a good example for you. The most important thing you will want to know is that he worked and worked until he could walk again and then hike again. He didn’t just say “oh, well.” He worked and worked even though it hurt.
Your Grandpa doesn’t give up. You will want to remember that.
I don’t know how many mountains Grandpa has climbed but he does.
How many times has Grandpa taken you on a hike with him? How many times has he invited you to walk up a long trail to the top and helped you along? How many times did you say “no” because you were afraid of getting tired?
You will want to remember these things.
He hikes alone but loves to hike with people. It is safer that way.
He has a habit of running into animals. Some are nice and some are not. Sometimes they are mountain goats and sometimes he finds a moose on the trail. He knows exactly what to do. Ask him.
Grandpa loves to take a friend along. Sometimes the friend is a daughter and sometimes a grandson. Friends come in many forms and all are welcome. Next time he might take Bernie the Dog. She is little Millie’s dog and she is a hiker for sure. Bernie, not Millie.
If Grandpa asks you to hike with him, I think you should. I really do because we live in the beautiful mountains and you never know what you might run into.