Day 2 found us taking a trip down memory lane. My memory, that is. As a tweener my younger brother and I would take these long hikes straight down from our mountain house, a pretty steep drop through leaves and trees and mountain laurel, eventually reaching a bubbling creek below. We'd hang a left and follow the creek around a bend to these huge rocks. I mean, automobile-sized huge. Tens of thousands of years of never-ending water flow had eaten through the sod and carved winding flumes in the rock, and now we were the beneficiaries. We'd hop from one to the other, trying to be prudent but taking risks we probably should have avoided. We'd hunt down cascading waterfalls and throw small sticks above them to watch them work their way down. And if we found an open pool, chances were pretty good there were round flat rocks nearby - "pancakes," we called 'em. Perfect for skipping rocks, a skill our father had taught us long before.
And now, some thirty years later, it's my memory being re-experienced through my two boys, my wife, and the two dogs, who had also made the trek. True, I was now the parent, so it was a slightly different stance I had to take: don't make that jump, look out for snakes, try to avoid throwing rocks when someone is right in front of you. Silly parent stuff like that. Still, it was pretty awesome when my own flesh and blood managed to skip a rock 15 times after a textbook toss, or make that hop from one rock to the other with not only ease but the same eager anticipation I had years before. Coming alive in this little nirvana that so few people on this planet had ever seen, because it's a mile hike off a winding mountain road off a dirt road off a dirt road off a dirt road.
We had been then for a while and I mention to my wife that perhaps it was time for us to head back to the cabin. Why, she asks incredulously, they're actually getting along and not beating each other up. A wise observation from my betrothed. We stick around.
This is why we have vacations, people. So we can go to places out in the middle of nowhere, which is actually somewhere, always with the people we love doing the kinds of things we should always make time to do.