Strong Children

Beauty of Witnessing Legacy



The trees along the Upper Kern River were fully dressed in autumn yellow and orange. The contrast of the river with ancient boulders scattered was stunning. This made the hour drive up curvy road of the canyon worth the feelings of being a little nauseous and terrified of the drop off inches from the road.


Anytime I get invited to adventure with my small tribe of millenials it is an easy yes. It was not many years ago that my husband and I sat in driver seat with these now grown up kids with their own not so quiet complaints of, “I’m sick dad, pull over.”


This new generation is next level as they stand on the shoulders of parents who introduced them to an adventurous way of life. The cars were packed with ropes, climbing harnesses, carabineers, anchors for the rocks and other climbing hardware that can save your life. Usually, I see a few pictures on Instagram but today I was going to be an eyewitness.


We parked at a deserted campground along the river and my younger son looked across the road up a steep mountain side that was peaked with walls of granite and said this is a good spot. My husband and two sons loaded up the climbing gear and headed up the cliff to anchor in a route, promising to return for all interested in climbing up the cliff.


My brave daughter in law Ema was a little upset that she was not the one to set up the route. She is an experienced climber. She agreed to stay down the hill with all the women and her two very adventurous young children, my first grandchildren.


Along the river we searched for a hiking trail but the fall grass had covered the path. Settling for a large boulder they all took a turn playing on the large rock and we could see the progress up the mountain of the climbing expedition. I contemplated climbing up the rock but realized getting off the rock would be much harder than up it.


“Are these my children? When did they become so courageous?” They had all gone off to University and have been forming their adult lives, but wow.


We had fun taking pictures and Sam our four-year-old played on the boulder while Amelia slept on her mama’s back. The cool autumn air gently blew as the sun began to lower increasing shadows on the hillside. From our position we could make out a body halfway up the rock setting anchors for the rope. I was concerned that daylight would not last long enough for another group to take their turn up the rope.


Shortly after, shadows deepening, my oldest son emerged down the hillside and deemed the hike to the climbing spot was too steep for his young son Sam. Sam began to wail, “I want to climb, Dad.” After a little negotiation, Ema, Sam and Jake were on their way up for a late afternoon climb.


The rest of us girls who were okay to pass on the rope today and headed to our dinner spot at Kern River Brewery with baby Amelia. The day was golden like the hillside. The evening ended on the deck of the brewery and the bright light of Venus shown as the sky darkened.


My kids are no longer kids. I will always say yes to a day with my children and their children. Legacy is beautiful.


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