The new breed of mountain men: more cute, less mountainy

If having children means one thing, it’s saying goodbye to your simple pleasures. This is why I don’t read anymore. Now, when I want to relax, I go to the kitchen and pour apple juice into a plastic cup. What do I do for fun? I pour apple juice.

Another simple pleasure I’ve missed is walking in the woods.

Up until now, there’s always been one kid  too small to make a worthwhile walk in the woods. Strollers are fine for neighborhood walks, but only the jogging stroller could be useful in the woods. We have a jogging stroller, somewhere. It’s been banished to the basement for eight years as part of my wife’s prejudice against vehicles without steerable wheels.

Baby carriers? Nope. Not gonna do that to my walk in the woods. I am precious few years away from needing someone to carry me. I’m not going to waste this time pounding the final nail into the coffin of my posture.

Last Sunday, when my wife proposed going for a walk, I said I would like to do that very thing, in the woods. In the following silence, my family looked askance at me, wondering with their eyes if there were not sidewalks in such a place.

Buster, the adventurer, was first to sign on to the expedition. I knew I could count on Big Man to join as soon as he saw the two of us putting on our shoes. Big Brother was reluctant, having reached the age of philosophical objection to the act of walking for its own sake.

Since no neighborhood kids were playing outside, Big Brother caved in to going with us. The only detail remaining between us and the woods was the traditional parental argument over adequate apparel. A day in the mid 50˚s, brings out the sharp differences between Mom and Dad over the necessity of hats and gloves. Mom won, and the boys started out overburdened with accessories that will hinder them developing into proper mountain men.

Mom is lukewarm to anything having to do with nature, but fearing hats and gloves would be discarded the moment we were out of sight, she decided to come along.

It was a beautiful day for an adventure.  People got dirty, but nobody fell into freezing cold water, though that temptation was present. The boys learned that steep hills become slippery slopes when covered with fallen leaves. I discovered there is still at least one biting insect flying around our parts in mid-November.

Best of all, nobody required carrying, not even me. Big Man was standing on heavy legs by the end, but he soldiered through. Maybe he’ll make a mountain man yet, despite how cute he looks in his winter hat.

At the end of the day it was unanimous: we want to do this again. Now, if I can only get them to read with me, we may rediscover the simple pleasures.



41 comments on “The new breed of mountain men: more cute, less mountainy

  1. Lynn says:

    Hopefully there will be many more ventures into the woods now that they realize it is much more fun than walking on a sidewalk!

  2. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Note to wife … woods are the BEST place to walk and to discover Life. What’s a little dirt? And soaking up Nature is the BEST way to de-stress. I don’t know what I’d do without my walks in the woods. Loved your story and photos, Scott. Now that family knows how much fun woods are, I foresee many more walks. YAY!!! 🙂 ❤

    • I agree, Amy. The woods are a great stress-reliever. Up until now, my wife’s knowledge of the woods has stemmed mostly from movies in which someone is attacked by a bear.

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        Naw. That’s just the movies. Oh my goodness, your sons will love exploring and touching and asking a zillion questions. Some “risks” are worth taking! Tell your wife I began to hike on a rugged trail in very dense forests just this year overcoming my fear of falling. In case you didn’t know, after 2 back surgeries I wasn’t walking for almost 2 years. My fear of falling, getting attacked (being a woman and being alone in isolated woods) was sky high. I overcame those fears and today confidently hike those trails with some places having to cross slippery creeks. I used to carry all kinds of “weapons” on my belt but no longer. I trust Angels are with me and no-thing will happen to harm me. I’ve met such nice people on those trails. So if I can overcome my fears, your wife can too! It’s a beautiful world! YES! ❤

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        I’d like to recommend a book to both you and your wife. It’s called, “Take the Risk” by Dr. Ben Carson. It is excellent!!

  3. John Muir would be proud. Did anyone ask to be carried? If you have navigated that problematic issue you have discovered parenting gold. You could start heading out on the lecture circuit with a little dog and pony show “Parenting Tips for Nature Walks.”

  4. amommasview says:

    Isn’t it the best to take them to the forest and let them discover nature? Looks like you had a fantastic day. We just came back from a hike in the woods and are tired and happy 🙂

  5. I too, fear that the days of Edmund Hillary’s and John Muir’s of the world are in our distant past. These days, the world of exploration is rapidly evolving into adventurous climbs and blazing of well traveled trails, without the aid of Sherpa and alpacas. Oh sure, the dangers of little insect bites and small slippery leaves will always exist. But perhaps that’s only because the world has gotten smaller, thanks to the new breed of cute—and restrictively dressed—gentle and more diminutive mountain men who are out there now. I have to take off my stocking cap—and urban outfitter apparel—to the more meek minded mountain men of the concrete jungles of today. Gentlemen (if I may call them gentle) I salute you! :O)

    • They blaze their trials with winning smiles.

      • Which is lucky for photographers of new history making events—like blazing the frequently blazed trails of today’s urban wilderness. No more of those old black and white grainy looking photos of stoic looking explorers without a smile on their face, after they’ve successfully scaled the heights of a 20 ft high Downtownville Park hill. Mt. Everest? HA…that was childs play! 😀

  6. […] Snoozing On The Sofa About mountain men… […]

  7. stomperdad says:

    This is great! We love nature, too. I’ve blogged about it a bit. As for reading… you need find Piggie and Elephant books. Also find “Don’t Open This Book” and “Please Open This Book”. Bet they love reading after hearing those books! 😀

  8. Gibber says:

    After mountain manning that rough terrain you could at least enjoy the other simple pleasure of a double scotch on the rocks..

  9. This is inspiring to those hikera who already stopped hiking because of their children. 👍👍👍

  10. I think it is important to teach the next generation what being in nature is truly like. I think they will quickly find it far exceeds the excitement of a video game.

  11. Ahdad says:

    Looks like fun compared to let’s say, sitting in doors with a good book and a glass of wine.

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