Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Post-Earth Day Hike With My Son

Earth from Space with Stars

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey Flickr Page:

The old button from the Environmental Club days which I just happened to find on Earth Day! It is a little beat up (particularly the ends of the ribbon), but no worse for the wear, I think. And it is one of the few items that I have left from those days, so it carries a lot of great memories for me! Nothing Changes Until You Do!

Here is a picture of a very similar logo, with the same message, that was on the t-shirt that I purchased from the BCC Environmental Club and, if memory serves me correctly, may even have helped to make. There were a few projects like that which club members, myself included, were regularly involved with. It has been so long, however, that I no longer recall specifically if I actually helped to make these or not, although I do believe so, since I remember seeing the process of the t-shirts being dyed. In any case, I loved this t-shirt, and have kept it ever since, even if I do not regularly wear it. Since it was part of my experience with the BCC Environmental Club days, as well as more generally having an environmental theme, it seemed appropriate to share it here. 

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."

~Mahatma Gandhi

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."
~John F. Kennedy  

No pictures, this time, sorry. My phone's camera has not been working properly for months now, so it is unlikely I could have gotten much of anything.

We went to Norvin Green, off of Glenwild Avenue right in between Bloomingdale and West Milford. This is a piece of relatively untouched woods, which is quite nice, actually. I have been coming here since I happened on it, almost by accident, during a summer vacation from high school. Despite it being a few miles from my house, I made it all the way there, and still had energy to do some hiking!

Ah, to be young again!

Anyway, I fell in the love with the place, and have gone back regularly ever since. This was back in the summer of 1990 (yeah, I'm that old), so that means that it has been a part of my life for over a quarter of a century now.

Naturally, as I like to take my son hiking with me, this was a natural place for us to go, as well. We have gone on several of the trails, with the one that we have most commonly done being across the street from the parking area. It is a decent hike, about forty-five minutes, but it is fairly strenuous. Short, but you really feel like you did a pretty good hike! The highlight there is the makeshift stone furniture, which is pretty cool.

There are other trails that we have done, as well. Today, we went on one that we had not gone to in years. It leads to the waterfalls, which I knew he would love. When I told him about it, he automatically picked that. And so, off we went, not long after a huge group of around 15 people went towards the same destination.

Indeed, there were quite a few people at the park on this day, which is probably a good thing. After all, I remember a time, particularly in the 1980's and even into the 1990's, when you could go to nice parks like this, even on weekends, and see no one else, even on beautiful days. The fact that more and more people seem to be escaping into such natural enclaves for weekend outings has to be seen as a good sign, doesn't it? Especially the day after Earth Day. Hopefully, all of this is a good sign.

Despite the people, we went for the hike. I told him to notice how the whole hike was downhill on the way to the waterfall, and to keep in mind that this automatically meant that the hike back was all uphill. He sounded a bit discouraged, but was once again lost in fun, having imaginary lightsaber duels and asking a whole bunch of questions ranging from a variety of his favorite topics, such as Star Wars and who would win battles between superheroes from Marvel and DC Comics.

The weather was perfect, as ideal as you could realistically ask for. It felt such a blessing, especially given that it was the day after Earth Day. After being asked what yesterday had been, my son was reminded of the significance of the previous day when I turned to show him my t-shirt, which shows a picture of the planet out of the recycling symbol.

He had a blast. It's funny, because he always groans when I mention hiking, as if it were some elaborate form of punishment. Then, when we go, he always has a blast (just as a side not, he objects to my suggestion that he is "having a blast" when climbing rocks, whacking sticks against trees, throwing stones, and pretending sticks are lightsabers).

When we got to the falls, he was excited, and climbed the slick rocks. Typically, he huffed and puffed when I told him to be careful, and reminded me that he is 10 years old (which is, in large part, what I'm worried about). We stayed there for quite a while, until well after the group of 15 people left. Once it was quiet, it seemed like a good idea to start a new Tintin book, since last week, we finished the one we were working on before.

In the end, another great day and pleasant memory of a great hike together, with the extra added significance of this being our de facto Earth Day hike, which seems to be forming into a sort of tradition that the two of us now share.

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