After we cleared out of the house and said goodbye to everyone I took Lukas up to the Black Cap trailhead for a hike. It's only a mile from the trailhead to the top and the views are supposed to be great. I had no idea whether Lukas would be in to it but I figured it was short enough that he could handle it and I wouldn't have to carry him much.
He was pretty into it (he likes trails and roots and stuff and early on picked out a special stick to give to Melissa) but the "only a mile" sort of neglects the fact that it is an uphill mile. And it turns out that carrying a ~50lb kid on my shoulders or in my arms, up a trail, is hard work. It was worth it, though: as soon as we popped out onto the rocks with views he turned around and said, "woooooowwwww, we can see the whole world!"
Once up top he was totally energized and spent almost an hour just running around, making friends, and playing on the rocks. We started heading back and I was thankful that it was all down because he was clearly going to be pretty tuckered out.
After we'd made it below the steepest upper part he stopped and asked me where his stick was.
"I think I left it up on top. I'm really sorry, Lukas!"
Passersby offer me sympathy and offer Lukas their own special sticks. He is not interested.
"Oh, maybe I put it in my bag!" [grab random stick next to my bag]
"That's not my stick!" More tears.
He wanted to go back up to get it. I suggested that we could go back up and look but explained that I couldn’t carry him at all any more so he would have to do it all himself, figuring that he would quickly tire of the effort and forget about his stick and we could head down properly.
He did not forget about the stick.
We got back up to the point where the trees disappear and he suggested I go get it while he would wait for me right there. Seemed reasonable enough so I scampered up the remaining steep section and was ridiculously relieved to see the stick exactly where I thought it would be. Scampered back down, passing several people who seemed to think that I had lost my son and let me know that he was down the trail waiting for me. Presented him the stick and received a slightly underwhelming response. He was thankful but I think he just assumed I would find it (why wouldn't I? I fix all his other problems) so he wasn't nearly as excited as I was.
The rest of the trip down was easy enough and we got on with our day and trip back home.Some pictures
. The stick makes an appearance.