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  • The Professor

ONE LITTLE BOY, TWO ROWDY DOGS, ONE BIG MOUNTAIN, AND TWO AGING HEROES





Sometimes seeing the world from a child's eyes can rejuvenate your spirit. Erica and I took our 7-year-old nephew, Kamden, and our two dogs, Keel, and Hero, for a hike through the trails on Sitting Bear Mountain. The Sitting Bear for which the mountain is named is a gigantic boulder that resembles the shape of a bear from certain angles. While Sitting Bear had been a favorite destination for Erica and me when we were younger, neither Kamden nor the dogs had ever been hiking in the mountains. This was going to be a true adventure!


Erica is the greatest companion on any trip. She always plans ahead and packs so as to guard against potential catastrophes. We loaded up the car. Kamden and the dogs were completely psyched. The dogs panted and stuck their heads out the car window. Erica cranked up some travel jams and got us underway. Kamden asked a lot of questions.


“Are there bears up there?”


“Yes.”


“Will we see them?”


“Probably not.”


“Are there caves?”


“Well, not deep caves.”


“Will there be salamanders?”


“Maybe.”


“Can I keep one?”


“No.”


“Is it going to be cold?”


“Don’t know.”


The one question he asked over and over?


“Are we there yet?”


“Almost.”


The drive up is about an hour of curvy mountain roads and switchbacks. Because you have to drive at a slow speed, the trip seems longer than it is. We finally arrived at the parking area near the trailhead and gave Kamden the safety lecture before getting out of the car.