Friday, June 19, 2009

Enjoying being on Douglas Creek

Each spring, once the mountains begin to open up from the winter snow, I enjoy getting out and seeing the places I had said good-bye to in the fall. Driving the mountain roads and hiking the trails, is like greeting those fond places as a friend I have not seen for awhile. The greeting is a happy one, and fills my soul with the nourishment needed to get through every day life. Everyone's soul is nourished in some way, mine is nourished by being in the mountains in the quiet wilderness.

Hiking along Douglas Creek in the Platte River Wilderness is one of those places I enjoy returning to over and over. Driving the road leading to the Platte River and Douglas Creek is one I have taken on numerous occasions. Bluegrass music or Jimmy Buffet can always be heard. With each turn of the road worries disappear and problems are worked out.

On this occasion, the whole family is together. Our little girl loves to look out the window and tell us what she sees. As we suit up to hit the trail, both kids are ready to go and our little girl is all about hiking and doesn't want to ride in the pack on dad's back quite yet. She even walks for quite a ways inspecting the surrounding plants and giggling when a lady bug lands on her.

Our little boy is strapped my back. He would much rather be hiking, if he could walk, but enjoys being outside and kicking mom to keep her going. His pack on my back is red, which attracts the attention of the humming birds. At first he was worried when a humming bird came buzzing up right to his face. On the second occasion of a buzzing humming bird flying right to his face, he just tried to catch the bird and waited for the next one to come to try and catch.

Following Douglas creek and hearing the roaring water flow, beckons me to sit and enjoy the sond of the rushing water. There are storm clouds on the horizon and so we know we must keep on going. Hiking with kids is slower going, but they learn so much along the way, and really the pack at this point is much lighter than a 40+ lb. pack used for backpacking.

Traveling from forest and boulders to open sage brush country is a nice change in scenery. Eventually we do get back into the forest. We are lucky because we do not run into any of the rain.

I am sad when the hike is over. The solitide and sounds of the wilderness are cravings for me, needed for my own sanity. I feel fully alive out in the open in nature. Because of the pull I feel for being out in the open, I know I will return here again.

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