Kearsarge Lakes. 7/11 thru 7/13/2013
Two nights and three days with my son in the High Sierra, a simple trip with relatively easy climbing (as Sierra passes go). I enjoyed this trip immensely due to the mellow pace, settling into a comfortable “slow time”. I let my son lead, dictate breaks, set the pace up climbs, choose our campsites, and set the general itinerary. Having surrendered to the fact that it would be a leisurely pace from the beginning, I was free to enjoy the surroundings and my son’s company without any stress.
I’ve seen too many parents try and set the pace, kids struggling and straggling behind. To what end? My greatest concern has always been trying to make trips as fun as possible for my children, that I may kindle a spark of love for the outdoors. I have to teach them that a degree of work is always going to be necessary to access beautiful places in the mountains, however, there is no need for me to push the mileage any faster than what they will enjoy. Challenging enough that they earn a sense of accomplishment, yet comfortable enough to not turn them off to the experience. Trying to push too hard, too fast and stressing over time is likely a sign that the mileage goals were inappropriate from the beginning.
The importance of not forcing things too hard on kids was reinforced heavily for me on this trip, evident in how much fun he was having because he was in charge of things. My son ended up commenting that Kearsarge Pass (11,700 ft.) was much easier than he thought it would be so I think my general itinerary was spot-on. He certainly did better than many of the sweat-soaked adults laboring under enormous loads…