My son and I recently had some time to kill. I had just taken Noah to get his haircut and then we ordered a pizza. We had about thirty minutes until the pizza would be ready and we were already in my truck so I figured we might as well drive around a little and check on the houses going up in our new neighborhood. We can’t get into our house for a couple more months, but we like to monitor the status of the new houses under construction.
We were about a mile from the development when I turned down a side street for a quick “shortcut.” I slowed down as we approached the sign for the Anna Mae Bacon Creekside Sanctuary. I told Noah that there was a short trail beside a creek there. I said we should go for a hike there sometime.
To my surprise (and delight) Noah said we should hike right then. I looked at the clock; we had about twenty minutes left until the pizza would be ready. I had never been to this part of the sanctuary before (there is a small area on the other side of the creek I had been to), but I knew it was a small area. I figured we could probably explore the area quickly and still make it to Nino’s Pizzeria on time.
The biggest thing for me was that Noah said he wanted to go on a hike. I was not about to turn down my four-year-old son’s desire to hike with me. Very few things make me happier than going on a father-son hike. And we haven’t managed to hike too many trails at his age based on our suburban location. I plan on taking to him to other places farther away in the future as he grows older.
I helped Noah out of my truck and we crossed the street to enter into the creekside sanctuary. It’s apparently a bird sanctuary named after a former science teacher. The site covers about six and a half acres.
Noah and I walked along a wide crushed stone path that took us directly between two houses. The trail led us straight into a forest. The area quickly opened up to a wide area between the trees. There was a small informational kiosk, which had a map of the area. It showed several short trails that connected to each other. Most of the trails went through the woods, a couple were out in the open and one longer trail hugged the edge of the eighteen mile creek.
I let Noah choose the trail for us to embark on. We walked along a muddy trail covered with leaves. We had to be careful not to slip. We walked for a few minutes before we reached the creek. Noah liked watching the water flow swiftly in front of us. We each tossed in some rocks.
The creek was probably about twenty feet wide where we were and there were some decent rapids there. I told Noah that I had taken my kayak through that area of the creek before, but that the water was too low to kayak there this time of year. There’s only enough water in the spring or following a storm.
Noah and I walked the trail as it followed the curve of the creek back to the trailhead at the kiosk. We were both getting cold then and had to head out to pick up our pizza. We weren’t exactly dressed for the weather, because we weren’t planning on hiking. We each had on light jackets, which were fine for a short time outside. We agreed that we would return soon to spend a little more time there.
We finished the hike just in time to go and get our pizza. It was a very short and simple hike. There wasn’t anything too impressive. No mountains, waterfalls, or other grand sights to see. However, it was still very enjoyable and that’s because of the company I kept. I love hiking and I love the outdoors. The members of my family may be the only things I like more than spending time on a trail. That is why spending even a short amount of time on a hike with Noah meant so much to me.
Noah and I had so much fun on our little hike that we returned a week later to spend even more time there. This time we wore heavier coats and explored just about every little pathway there was. Noah began doing a little trail maintenance this time. He liked moving sticks off of the trail and then when we were next to the creek we each threw several sticks into the water. We had a lot of fun together. I can’t wait to start tackling longer hikes with my boy.