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Re: [at-l] long distance hiking with young teenagers

Diana L. Cascioli wrote:

> Also consider at that age, she is still growing. It might not be such 
>a good idea to take on such a rigorous hike while she is still that 
> I personally think that 17 is a better age. She will graduate from 
> high school, be a bit more focused, and will be about to start on a
> huge part of her life (college). If she wants to do it then, I think > 
> the two of you will be much happier. :)

Another former teenage girl here...
I have to agree with Diana here...seventeen is a more reasonable age for 
a thru.  But even at that age, I don't think, scratch that, I_know_ I
could not have handled anything near a thru with my Dad.

As a reward for graduation, my parents took me on a mutli-week tour,
by car, of the country.  We headed west and generally had one of the 
best times of my life.  I say that now, but back then, after a couple
weeks, I just wanted to go home.  I missed my friends...I missed my 
boyfiend..I was bored with the whole thing...Now I'd almost kill for a 
chance to do it again. I tried to keep in the spirit of the adventure,
but I'm sure my folks new my heart was no longer in it.  Kids..go figure

I don't want to throw cold water on your dream but....unless a thru
_with you_ is your daughter's dream, as well as your's, you may be 
dissappointed with the results.  And be careful..if you talk about your 
plan too often, she may feel, even though she doesn't share your 
enthusiasm, an obligation to pretend she does. 

Anyway....why wait to enjoy her company on the trail...
Nine is a good time to start short easy trips with her.
Try to plan interesting, short,two day trips to neat places.
This year, I'll be introducing some nephews and neices to packing.
I have their first route picked out.  An easy but beautiful, rail to 
trail which features a tunnel, a creek, and camps at a state park with a 
swimming beach.  Now I ask you...what kid could resist that? 

If you start her early and easy, and she's of a mind, maybe she'll be
the one bugging you to do the thru!        Kahley
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