Today’s Sabbath afternoon adventure was a hike we’ve never taken with the kids before — the trail from the top of Signal Hill down to the Battery. We decided today was the ideal day to do it because, as my parents are out of town, we have access to their van. Being briefly a two-vehicle family, we were able to park one car at the bottom of the trail and then take the other up to the Cabot Tower parking lot. We didn’t think the kids would be up for walking the whole trail and then climbing up Signal Hill Road to get back to the van (a good call, as it turned out).
As we drove up Signal Hill we discovered that we had chosen to go up there at the same time as a huge crowd of people doing the “RealTime Cancer Climb” in matching T-shirts. They all looked very young, happy and energetic and it was great to see such a crowd of teens and young adults gathered for a good cause.
Our own walk was more low-key but quite successful. The kids enjoyed the trail, and for an ongoing novelty we got to try out our new hydration backpack (a gift rather than something we bought for ourselves). I’m not sure it’s actually anymore convenient than throwing a couple of bottles of water in a backpack, but it certainly kept everyone fascinated — and stopping frequently for water breaks (the picture at right shows Chris wearing the backpack and Emma getting a drink from the built-in straw).
I remembered the walk, even in one direction and downhill, as long and tiring, but I think that may have been because I remember doing it on a hot summer day — today was sunny and breezy, but cool when the sun went behind a cloud, which kept us from getting too warm. Also, the pace of hiking with children — lots of rest stops! — made it a very easy walk indeed. It’s one more step in our long-term plan to become avid hikers and raise the children to be the same. I guess getting some decent shoes or boots should figure into that plan somewhere too!
Anyway, that was our family excursion for today. Tomorrow I’m off on an excursion of my own — a one-day trip to Halifax to read at Word on the Street. If anyone reading this is in Halifax, please come down and see me at 3:30! I’m flying out early in the morning and flying back late at night, so I won’t see much of Halifax, but I hope I see a few people at my reading. There are going to be lots of good readings to go to and writers to meet, so it’ll be an enjoyable day no matter what happens.