Today my surprise presents for the family came in, yay! I got us each a hiking staff from Whistle Creek.
to right: N. got a slender hickory staff, J.'s is a really cool,
beautiful sycamore and mine is also made of hickory. N. got the more
slender of the two hickory staffs, since her hands are smaller. I
didn't think to ask the company to choose one for a child when I
ordered, it's just one of those happy coincidences!
The wood is
gorgeous and the finish is nice--not totally polished but smooth enough
not to give ya splinters and sealed against the elements. They each
have a rubber crutch tip on the end. You can get metal spikes for the
ends of your staff, but that is more for rock/ice climbing, and I plan
on using mine around town in place of a cane. To encourage the kid to
hike, I also got us each a couple of hiking medallions--one for the
national forests and one for Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite (we are
planning a trip to Yosemite next month). The medallions came from Hike America, they have more hiking medallions than you can shake a stick at! Heh.
told N. that I'd get her another medallion for each area that she
hiked. I also tried to teach her a little about how a good hiking staff
can be your friend for life, and might even save your life during a
hike, what with it also being defense against animals. Of course, your
first duty is to NOT be a total dumbass, and leave the animals alone.
Once while driving through Yosemite, I witnessed a mother bear leading
two cubs across the highway and into the brush, closely followed by a
family of four who screeched to a halt, bailed out of their car and
bounded full-tilt into the underbrush right after them.
Horrified, we didn't even stop.
I also told the kid about the buffalo in Yellowstone, if and when we get there.
remember getting one of these flyers from the rangers the last time I
drove through Yellowstone back in 1991. I love the little man's camera
& cap flying in all directions. It's a Yellowstone yard sale!
Yellowstone, sadly, will have to wait till either later in the year or
was VERY taken with her staff, and for some reason known only to 10
year olds, has bestowed upon it the name of 'Jeff'. She has already been
showing it to the chickens and practicing hiking around the back yard.
She has also declared that she will sleep with it in her hand tonight.