I was born and raised in Manhattan. As far as I'm concerned, Westchester, NY is the country, and where I live now is a fucking episode of Nature on PBS. My feelings about any interaction with the wilderness that surrounds my home is pretty much summed up with this:
And even here I just have to point out that the chair doesn't look super comfortable in that drawing, and isn't somewhere I can imagine wanting to sit for very long - even with a drink in hand.
However. I am not actually immune to ALL of nature's charms, and when my Significant Other and I happened upon the Nepaug Dam (totally by accident), which has some hiking trail thing where you can park your car, get out, and walk along a road/path, over the dam itself, and then turn around and walk back again. And we actually did it. It was BEAUTIFUL. Like, awe-inspiringly beautiful.
And I walked like AT LEAST two miles without complaining at all (a minor miracle), and it was an all-around great experience. So we thought we'd go back with the boys, which, I'm not going to lie, involved some convincing on our part and a lot of whining on theirs.
Even once we got there and forced them out of the car, both kids were dragging their feet and asking things like "How long is this going to take?" and "Can someone carry me now?" which was irritating in the extreme but thankfully ended once they saw the water.
|William Admiring The View|
|Andrew Admiring the View, But Casual-Like So As Not To Seem Overly Impressed|
|Posing For Mama Under Extreme Duress|
Andrew also rediscovered his interest in photography, and was allowed to borrow the good camera to use with the understanding that if he damaged it in any way he would be sent to his room for the remainder of the summer - without his iPad.
|A Photograph That Has A .0001% Chance Of Being In Focus|
|The Nepaug Dam|
Once the dam itself came into view, all whining ceased and small footsteps rapidly increased with the goal of looking over the edge. Here's where I have to come clean and tell you upfront that there will be no pictures of the view over the far edge of the dam that has a very steep, very long drop. I suffer from extreme vertigo and was almost barfing on myself watching the others look over the side.
However, the views over the other side were just lovely:
Andrew, who obviously did not inherit my extreme vertigo, took lots of shots over the other side:
|Who Is This Child And How Are We Related???|
Once we crossed the dam, there was some sitting on a rock wall to rest up from all the physical exertion that's involved in a leisurely, not-very-long walk over paved roads:
Which, to be fair, was followed by lots (and lots and lots) of tramping around in the forest (a story for another time) which we found out later was
maybe probably totally trespassing but I swear we didn't know at the time:
The six-year-old got a bit worn out on the walk back to the car and had to be carried by yours truly for most of the way. What? Could you resist this face? Well, I could not.
|Mama, Can You Carry Me Please?|
In the end, I have to admit this outdoor adventure was GREAT. I had fun, spent real quality time with the kids, and got to experience awe which is apparently spiritually invigorating AND good for physical and mental health. And who can't use more of that shit?
We shall see if my newfound enthusiasm for the outdoors is a passing fancy or the beginning of a new-and-improved me, but I personally have high hopes. Yes, it was one
hike walk, but as I always say: