Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lessons in Peakbagging




Looking for some inspiration to get the family outdoors this summer? Travel up forty-eight of the New Hampshire White Mountains with Patricia Ellis Herr and her five-year-old  daughter, Alex, in Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure. Herr partnered up with her less than school age daughter to tackle New Hampshire’s highest peaks in an effort for both to join the 4000 Footer Club. While I can understand the overabundance of energy that Herr encounters in her five-year-old, I am in awe of her daughter’s ability to channel that energy into lengthy, uphill hikes. My children tend to request a ride (a.k.a. Mom, will you carry me) when we are taking a casual stroll around the block. I suppose potential bear encounters,  violent spruce grouse, freak electrical storms, membership in an elite club, and men in kilts make for a more exciting expedition than general suburban mayhem.
While I am not currently (one can dream) in possession of a New Hampshire weekend home, I found it very easy to relate to Herr’s commentary. Being the mother of two young girls almost identical in age to Herr’s, I found myself getting overly emotional at the small triumphs and fighting alongside her when strangers challenged her parenting decisions. As a connoisseur of memoirs, I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in hiking, parent-child relationships, outdoor lifestyles, homeschooling, New England, bee survival, or men in kilts. Yes, there is a man in a kilt in most of the book. The best part is, the story doesn’t end once you close the back cover. Herr writes a regular blog  about her continuing adventures with Alex and younger daughter, Sage.

If Herr leaves you yearning for adventure, check out these other books to get started on your Buckeye State hiking adventure. We may not have 4000 footers, but we do have some good trails. Don’t forget your water, bug spray, and well-toned upper torso for when the kids decide they’ve had enough.
 

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