My 7-year-old son celebrated his Suicide Rock climb near Idyllwild on Monday by eating from my bag of Oreos.
Marshall’s school in Redlands was off Monday, so I took a day off from work so I could treat him to the 6.6-mile round trip from Highway 243 to Suicide Rock – one of my favorite views in Southern California.
Monday was perfect hiking weather – mid 80s, no clouds. And the popular trail was quiet except for a young boy sharing his stream of consciousness and observations.
On the way up, I got comments like: “Daddy, my favorite fraction is one-eighth. What’s yours?”
“I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
“Platypuses are the only mammals that can lay eggs. I learned that on Phineas and Ferb (his favorite cartoon).”
At Suicide Rock, he suddenly found the energy to hop and skip over the boulders. As we sat down for lunch with a view of Tahquitz Rock, he said, “Daddy, your achievement is burning off the Pop Tarts.”
Marshall celebrated on a feast of Oreos and a peanut-butter-and-honey sandwich.
One the way back down, Marshall – who plays third base and short stop – spent more than one hour reflecting how our 3-11 team, the Cardinals, should have won every game. I’m his coach so I just took in the advice.
And no day of hiking is complete without a couple of scrapes and bruises. And of course he slept the entire ride back to Redlands.
Suicide Rock was a great way to spend a Monday – great views, hike, and trail. But most of all, as a dad who has trouble culling free time from a busy schedule, it was a great way to spend some precious father-son time.