Monday, September 5, 2011

labor of love

Rob and I planned to spend Labor Day together as a family, since B has the day off school and summer fled far too quickly. I had proposed a few different, short hikes, mostly up by Hyalite Reservoir, and we agreed to do one or more depending on the energy in one boy's legs. Last night, when I told B of our plans, he was enthusiastic and excited, then upped the ante by asking, "Can we take a bike ride on Sour Cookie Dough Trail after the hikes?!" (For the non-locals, he meant "Sourdough Trail.")

Though I initially answered a hopeful, "Maybe!" to the above question, our trip to Grotto Falls took over four hours. We came home, ate, showered, and swept him to bed. HOWEVER, the reason it took so long was lovely: based on new knowledge graciously given by my friend Nichole, I now know what huckleberries look like. I treated the entire hike like a treasure hunt, and we not only found huckleberries, but raspberries and strawberries as well. If you've ever had a wild strawberry, you'll nod with vigorous understanding when I say OH MY GOSH! They are tiny and intense jewels of summer.

I got to share my new knowledge with no fewer than three sets of people. After a bit of playing around at the falls, I even got to show a nearby father's three kids what the huckleberry tastes like. I'd step off the trail and it was though my legs were instantly surrounded by kittens: "Can I see it?" "Ooh, that's a big one!" "Which ones are the huckleberries?" "That one was SOUR!"

"That one" was a chokecherry.

The youngest boy kept insisting we find cranberries (he meant raspberries), while the older boy and Blake teamed up joyously, and the daughter and I chatted. We never got around to shaking the father's hand, and the youngest apparently wanted to talk both of Rob's arms off, but we enjoyed a leisurely stroll back to the parking lot, finding a surprising amount of mouth- and hand-staining fruits to occupy our time.

It was such a great day.


lanerdoo said...

How fun! It is so much more satisfying to find and pick wild berries. We forget that is how they started out, not in handy rows of hybrids that produce fruit the size of your head :) Yay for hikes and sharing berries!

Grammie Perrine said...

One of my fondest memories was picking little wild blackberries with my mama... and tasting the AMAZING pies she created with those little fragrant morsels of perfection.

Nichole said...

Sounds like a great day!!! :)