You have absolutely no idea how many pairs of hiking boots and bike tires I want to wear out. This week’s muddy production was brought to you by the ooze and silt at Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, IL.
Really, the weekend was quintessential package of being out there and doing it. It was the perfect stage for performing mindfulness…of being where you are and living the moment instead of dwelling on the past or obsessing about the future. There are times for remembrance and for planning, heck yeah, but there’s a lot to be said for fully being where you are. My oldest, Aaron, planned this trip with his Army buddy Jarred, and Jarred invited his girlfriend Cassie along. She’s a sweetheart, and a real trooper who was so tickled that she’d hiked through bogs and boulders without getting the tops of her shoes muddy. Until the last mile or so back in…but my greatest joy was seeing the excitement and satisfaction on Aaron’s face while he was spending time with a buddy he shares deep ties with. Those are moments a parent treasures.
I was happy to be a part of it, and the meal we shared at Duffy’s Tavern right outside the park after we were done hiking was one of those scenes you wish you could just freeze and live in for a hundred years. It was that good. Except for the painfully slow kitchen service. But that gave us more time to drink our beers and talk. Chalk it up to the post-hike endorphins, the beer, the opportunity to spend time with your grown kids and their friends…it was a great day. And the thought that there are many, many more of them ahead heartens me.