I know I’m a day late but better late than never right? Today my inspiration is from Mason. My 5 year old who has more perseverance than some adults I know.
We spent the Labor Day weekend on a family camping trip at Lassen National Park. It was absolutely beautiful there and we couldn’t believe we hadn’t been there before. It was less than 5 hours away and not terribly crowded.
The biggest reason we were going was because of the volcano. Lassen is a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1915. The boys were beyond excited to see a real volcano and to hike near or on one. When we arrived and researched where to go, we found that Lassen itself was too high and strenuous to climb but that we could hike to the top of Cinder Cone volcano.
Here are the stats for Cinder Cone:
Round Trip Distance: 4 miles
Round Trip Time: 3 hours
Elevation Change: 846 ft
Elevation: 6,061 ft – 6,907 ft
Even though the hike was labeled “strenuous” we decided to go. Mason was eager to get started and said he would be able to do the entire hike on his own. Matt and I didn’t think that was possible so we prepared ourselves for me to take Miles on my back when Mason got tired and Matt would take Mason the rest of the way. What happened over the next 4 hours and 4 miles was amazing.
Mason walked/hiked the ENTIRE way on his own. Did you catch the stats I posted above? He hiked 4 miles round trip with an elevation change of 846 ft over the course of the hike. Can you believe that??!! It was amazing. AMAZING!
There were times that I wanted to stop! It was up a steep incline and the terrain was sandy and loose volcanic gravel making it really difficult. You slipped a little with each step putting extra strain on your legs. Then there was the wind. Oh my goodness was it windy. And from time to time you had to stop and turn away because the wind would shoot the small pellets of sand/rock at you, and it hurt!
Through the entire hike Mason kept on going. All the way to the top. Once we reached the summit he saw that you could hike down into the center. Coming back out looked just as strenuous as the incline we had just hiked and I wasn’t sure we should go. The wind was whipping and so was the gravel. But, we did it. We hiked to the center and stopped for a family portrait, turned around and hiked back out.
On the way down the cinder cone there was a couple starting their descent. The woman was visibly struggling and scared to go down. I had just told Mason to make sure to dig his heels in to the gravel because it would make it easier to hike down. As we approached the couple Mason started saying, “Guys, guys!” When we were right up next to them he turned to them and said, “You have to dig your heels in!”. It was amazing that he was not only aware of her struggle but right there to help. When we were hiking the trail back to the car that same couple passed us and the husband thanked Mason for helping his wife get down the cinder cone. He said she wouldn’t have made it without him.
There was so much excitement and determination in Mason that day. I’ve seen glimpses of that before but never to this extent. He was my inspiration as well as the inspiration for many other hikers that saw him climb that cinder cone. One 20 something year old guy stopped and asked if we had made it to the top. When I told him that we not only made it to the top but all the way in and back out and that Mason had done it all on his own his jaw dropped open and he shook his head and said,”AMAZING”. Yes, I would have to agree.
Mason, your energy is a force and a wonder to witness. You can do great things in your life by channeling that energy and excitement in the right direction. I can’t wait to see what other mountains you will conquer by my side and on your own.
And here are a few random shots from the weekend.
Matty shot this last one. (I’m sure he’ll share more of the trip on his blog. I’ll be sure to put a link if and when he does.)