Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who has been biking on my coloring book?

It was once called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country and now a portion of the old rail bed is open to enthusiastic bikers of all ages. In it's operating days, the trains traversed through 11 tunnels and over 9 high trestles, covering a 46 mile route that crossed the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The “Route of the Hiawatha” is most famous for the long St. Paul Pass, or Taft Tunnel which burrows for almost 2 miles under the Bitterroot Mountains at the state line. How many people get to say that they crossed a state line.....on a the middle of dark tunnel, only to emerge to breathtaking view of mountains, rivers, innumerable amounts of wildflowers....basically a canvas of unspeakable beauty? Who wouldn't be thrilled beyond measure by this adventure?
I'll tell you who.
The beginning of our 15 mile ride just before we entered the Taft Tunnel. The kids can hardly contain their excitement.
The end of the tunnel
exiting one of the many other shorter tunnels
Ansel has a pretty posh life today. Next year he will be on his bike.
Emmy was almost able to smile under the pressure of the beeping self-timer.
OK. Now Emmy is looking a little more authentically happy......but Savanna is just too hot to feign contentment.
another tunnel.
Again, how can one not be overly satisfied when looking at something like this?
Ansel has a stare down and wins
Corey found the event to be Absolutely Felicitous.
not so felicitous
Ansel is Ecstatic....but he was being pulled in a biking limousine of sorts, getting drunk on all of our water.
It was 100 degrees at home and cooled to a still uncomfortable 96 degrees at 5000 feet. This could understandably account for the grumpiness of the children; but, alas, it has been something I have struggled with for years. They groan at the mention of hikes or all day outdoor excursions. I have frequently found myself grabbing fistfuls of my hair and, in exasperation, audibly wondering from whence these kids of mine came. The city of Boringville....that's where. Do I force my kids to do these things that I love? Will they eventually learn to love it as well? Or will they resent these activities and purposely choose a life void of everything that I hold dear? I recently watched "The Kite Runner" and was struck by these wise words,
"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors".- Rahim Khan
I will desperately try to let them find their own favorite colors and, of course, color outside of the lines.
But I will still make them do this every year.


Kaerlig said...

I'd make them do it too. Fill in their coloring books and they'll fill in your grandkids coloring books.

Joal said...

Wow, Corey licked a maple leaf to see if it was sweet AND acted silly before a camera? Hmmm. Something's going on.