I first did this as an adult only a few years ago. A mixed, eclectic group of people with children and without stretching from our twenties to our fifties for the adults and from eight years old through teen –spread out across the Mill Creek Trail in the Kern Canyon. Michelle and I decided to recreate this trip but with more people this time around.
We want to celebrate our time together with VDAY Bakersfield, 2013. This is an annual event where women gather to raise awareness and money to end violence against women and girls. Naturally it creates a unique and if it is done right, unforgettable and lasting bond. Michelle and I became friends several years ago because of VDay and we both know we will continue to be close friends only if we connect in between runs of the annual show/awareness/fundraiser.
Hiking is a great way to connect and reconnect. No matter your age, you may participate. Your fitness level doesn’t entirely matter because there will be others similarly matched.
I am actually not completely afraid I will bring up the rear unless I do it by choice.
I am taking my son, Samuel, who has autism again, even though he melted down last time, pretty severely.
Samuel asks me questions from the bedroom. “What friends are you taking?” he asks, preparing himself for who he will meet on the trail and on the drive into the canyon. He acts as if I am the center of this expedition. In a way I am.
The time to worry about the hike is over. The time to put sunscreen on my face and my stuff in the car is here.
I lagged behind to take photos and to experience the trail alone with the others and Samuel was the trailblazer, leading us all. He gained confidence, I gained freedom as I trusted the other hikers to be substitute caretakers. He felt loved as did I. I made new friends and as we sat eating lunch on an enormous boulder, I noticed this wasn’t just a random boulder, it was also a grinding rock from the Yokutz people who lived here years ago.
The photos of the day show me with a smile on my face, over and over again. Big, goofy, satisfied smiles lit up my face as I strode along the path, happy as a slow-flying lark, to borrow a term from my Mother.
My friends and I have decided we will take monthly hikes from now on and maybe, possibly, do a couple camping weekends. We are building a loving community as we walk and discover new places. We are blessed.
Follow me on Twitter: @JulieJordanScot
Be sure to "Like" WritingCampwithJJS on Facebook. (Thank you!)
© 2013 by Julie Jordan Scott