I’m proud to announce that I finally converted my mother. After two years of making fun of my hiking habits, and mocking me about the snakes and the poison ivy, she finally decided to join me for a hike.
To be fair, this wasn’t her first time on the trails. She went hiking with my Dad in the mountains sometime last year. It was memorable, but not in a good way. They got lost on the trail… after the rain… in the dark… at night.
They had a good laugh about it once the worst had passed, but Mom seemed none-too-fond of trying it again. So imagine my surprise when I woke up to a text two weeks ago, suggesting we take a hike!
Starting off Easy
After hearing my rave reviews, she wanted to see the Clayton County International Park for herself. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because I took my first solo hike there last month. Don’t worry. This isn’t more of the same; I took a totally different route this time.
I was eager to get on the dirt trails again, but Mom still had some lingering paranoia about venturing into the woods. By the time I worked up her courage to try it, the dirt trail running parallel to us had ended, so we continued on the paved path.
We had barely gone a quarter mile down the trail when I noticed spring blossoms up ahead.
I have no idea what these trees are actually called, but they are stunning in the Georgia springtime.
After seeing them for the first time last year, I find myself seeking them out wherever I go in the spring.
I should really plant one of these in the yard. I can’t imagine a more welcoming sight outside my window. I’m sure Shadow would like to give a tree like that a good climb, as well.
Into the Woodlands
At the end of the wooden fence, we realized we were leaving the park, but the trail continued and so did we.
Mom was a little put off by the signs that popped up, asking, “Do you have a hiking buddy?”
Of course, she then looked at me, and told me that this was why I should not go hiking alone. So while we were on the subject, I pointed out the serial killer sheds and cottages to our left and right.
She was not amused – well… maybe just a little bit.
The further along the path we went, the further into the woods it took us. After a while, we no longer saw houses and serial killer cabins. Instead, we were bordered by the trees on either side.
The trees in Georgia are tall and majestic – gorgeous things. They are half of what won me the very first time I set foot in Atlanta, in 2004.
One tree stood out from the others, as we walked. Someone or something had gutted out the trunk. I joked with Mom that it must have been werewolves in the wild.
Retracing Our Steps
This trail was a short one and led to a golf course in a wealthy neighbourhood. Once we had reached the end, there was nothing to do but turn back and pick our way through another path.
On the Waterfront
We had spotted a bridge across a lake just before leaving the park, and decided that would be our next course. But before seeking out the bridge, we stopped at a dock looking out onto the lake.
Mom kept trying to make me look at the camera, so I gave her my best monkey-face. I think it worked.
I then left her at the lake to make common cause with the ducks. We had some urgent matters to discuss – mostly how perfect the weather was for spending a day on the trails.
Bridges and waterscapes are two of my favourite finds on a hiking trail, so finding both together made my day. The bridge looked brand new, and had a nice curve as it stretched over the water.
The Tiki Goodswood Trees
After crossing the bridge, we happened across the strangest trees I have ever seen. They stood out at the edge of the forest, because they looked like they had faces carved into them.
They reminded me of two things: a Tiki Man, and the Godswood in A Song of Ice and Fire. What do you guys think?
Into the Godswoods!
Soon, the asphalt gave way for another dirt trail. By now, Mom had grown comfortable and was ready to take on the woods.
Seconds later, we came to an intersection by a blue well. We debated about what course to take, and then turned right.
That trail was a trickster; always bringing us close to the roads running through the park, but never close enough so we could get off the trail. It weaved in and out of the woods until finally bringing us to a tennis court, and then back into the woods again.
By the time, it ended, we were back at the blue well, but coming from the trail on the left.
That was the last of the dirt trail we could find, so we returned to the paved path, and made our way out to the car. Along the way, we passed another lake with ducks.
I tried to befriend the black one closest to me, but he promptly headed for the lake, and left me in his dust.
The other ducks were more friendly, and weren’t the least bit bothered when I ducked down behind them to take pictures.
Behind the lake was a mountain bike trail running right by the water’s edge. I made the mistake of saying out loud that I wanted to bring my bike back to test it out. The look my mother gave me could have curdled milk.
But… I’m still taking the bike out there one of these fine days, before the winter rolls around again and makes it impossible.
By now you guys are probably wondering:
Ummm… where are the pictures of her Mom???
We took many, but I won’t be posting them. Sorry guys. My parents have their own business and brands, so we’ve decided to keep their “image” separate from my own.
Have you ever gone hiking with a parent before? How did it go? Did you notice any changes in your relationship with them afterwards?
My Mom and I have definitely been closer since our Girls’ Day on the trails, and she’s super excited to head out with me again.