Saturday is hike day. Every week for a good bit of the summer, my friends and I have gotten up before someone should wake up on a Saturday and gone exploring. This past week we went on an extra special trip up into the land of trees to find a lake that I visited as a child. More often than not my mind wanders when I’m doing things like hiking. Someone mentioned report cards at some point and I got to work writing this in my head. Grades for everyone!
My dad gets an A+. He gets this grade because he is my dad and amazing, but also because he was super patient with our slow pace. After my dad’s heart attack, he got into ridiculous good shape. He wasn’t in bad shape before, but now, well, he’s fit to say the least. He stayed back with us though and talked about the history of the area and pointed out features in the landscape. He’s a fantastic guide, and I’m not saying that because I’m his daughter and I want nice gifts for Christmas. I’m saying it because it is entirely true.
Russ gets an A. Not an A+ because I’m only giving an A+ to my dad. (Now that MIGHT have to do with the gifts thing.) One A comes from being the most determined and tenacious person on the trip. Another comes from the fact that he decided to whittle while we were done eating lunch and we were relaxing before the hike back down the mountain. Whittling is awesome. Go Russ! You win at hikes.
Ryan gets an A because he is 11 and he kept up with all of us. In fact, he stayed ahead of all of us for most of the time. Then he sat and watched the lake and skipped rocks. He’s a cool kid.
Kevin gets an A for the hike, but a C- for activities chosen during the rest. He hiked like a pro, but brought electronics into the wild blue yonder. That seems wrong. Had it been a paper book he was reading, his total grade would have been an A. But since it was a Nook, his final grade is a B-
Bekah receives an A for sticking with her husband and I at the back of the pack even though she could have kept up with those in the front. She also gets an A for taking a few pictures of me so that I would have more than silly self-portraits at the end of the day. Final grade is an A. (The house of M owns us all.)
James does not fare as well as his son on the grade front. First, he gets an F- for preparation. He left his water bottle at home. He and Ryan were lucky that I had along an extra Nalgene. I had my Camelbak for me, but I brought the bottle just in case. James gets an A for his hiking ability and niceness for staying with those of us who are much slower than he is. He skipped rocks at the lake, which I would give him an A for, but he also spent time bouncing on a log which maybe wasn’t the best idea considering the fact that he is just recovering from a very broken arm. I’m allowing those two to cancel each other out. Unfortunately, his F- gives him a C- overall and the worst grade of the group.
Josh is tricky. Josh was prepared but he didn’t always stick with his comrades. A lot of the time he was off in the woods by himself. This can be dangerous and it is also not exactly screaming with solidarity. However, he did spend a chunk of the hike with the rest of us, so I give him a C- for general hiking spirit. He chose skipping rocks as his break time activity which, as I said before, is befitting of a trek into the woods and worthy of an A. At the end of the hike, Josh twisted his ankle quite badly and remarked how funny it was that he did it on the trail and not out while he was gallivanting on his own. Since he was thinking about that at least, I raise his previous C- to a C giving him a B overall.
I’m pretty sure I gave enough high grades to give us an A as a team, and I suppose that’s what really matters. Go us!
P.S. I give myself top marks. An A in hiking because it was my idea to go to the pretty lake in the pretty trees in the first place. I also get an A in rest time activity because I brought my knitting and worked on my leg warmers and that is pretty kick ass. Finally I receive a general A because I’m the one that took the pictures (other than Bekah as aforementioned) and decided to grade my friends in an arbitrary and entertaining manner.
(Previously spoken of self-portrait)
(Less Blair Witchy picture of me knitting.)