A Hiking We Will Go

Yesterday (and today, for that matter) the weather was unbelievably nice. Warm in the sun with a touch of chill in the shade. Henry and I had a few short errands to run. I decided afterward we would pick up some sandwiches and fruit and head on over to Kennesaw Mountain for a spur of the moment picnic and a little hike.
We went to one of the fields, hung out on our blanket and shared our lunch and played around in the grass for awhile. I could hear a bunch of frogs so we went on an unsuccessful frog hunt. The boy loves frogs. I think the pond was across the railroad tracks and the brush on the other side was to thick and tangled for us to traverse it. We turned around and headed for a trail. Not more than 5 feet onto the trail, Henry seemed very timid. This was a bit unusual. I was a few steps ahead of him and he just wouldn't follow me. I went to him and he held my hand for a short distance and then stopped walking. He was acting a little nervous, which in turn made me nervous. I had never experienced this with him before. He is normally so fearless. I urged him on a few more steps but I could tell he was not comfortable. This was so strange to me. I was also anxious because I didn't want him to feel afraid to go into the woods, but I didn't want to push him either, I picked up and kept walking. There was an uprooted tree lying next to the trail and I think the exposed roots and chunk of ground around it may have been a big factor in his trepidation. We got closer to it and he seemed pretty interested, then at that moment a train came by on the tracks near us and it was over. Henry has never seen a real train that close up and he did not like the noise. He covered his ears and started doing this whiny noise. I gave in and we turned back for the clearing where he was much more at ease. There we continued to frolick and play and just be plain old goofballs.

I found it a bit strange that his nervousness was so contagious. I have always been fine with going out in the woods on my own. I know Matt has been concerned with me taking Henry to certain parks on my own, so maybe that was somewhere in my subconscious. I did realize that we had gone out there and hadn't told Matt where we were going, which was not the brightest thing to do, just in case. I called him shortly after getting back to the field. My biggest concern was Henry's feelings. I want him to be comfortable in the woods, with me or on his own. We normally go hiking at Red Top Mountain and we can't keep him on the trails-he just tramples over and through everything. Maybe it was being in a new place. I'm not sure. We'll try again this weekend.

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