Hiking the Buttermilk Trail

Caution: This is an old fashioned blog post. The kind people used to write before social media sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. 

My son and I went on a hike last week on one of Richmond’s wooded trails that follow the river and are oddly close to downtown.

There’s a lot to take in back there. Things to look at, sounds to hear, and inferences to make.

Big and small…

Natural and human…

Official and Unofficial…

Natural and Urban…

When we came across this graffiti, he had a two word warning for me: “teenagers, dad.” Like a guide in Indiana Jones finding an ancient warning of death. I can only assume he’s learned that teenagers are punks from his grandparents. I wonder if he understands that he’s only a few years away from losing his mind to adolescence.

I was thinking about teenagers as well. Mostly noticing the paths leading from residential areas to the kinds of places that teenagers go to get away from the eyes of adults. Rocky outcroppings and secluded hiding places that we would have sought out back then. I’m sure a closer look would reveal empty packs of cigarettes and broken wine-cooler bottles.

R wanted me to play some music. But I told him that we don’t listen to music when we’re out in nature. He didn’t comment on the multiple passersby that were listening to something through their earbuds.

I wanted him to hear the noise that we were surrounded by. Hear the river. The crickets. To notice the details in the noise soup. The trees in the forest, if you will. Not sure that we got there. But we’ve got all summer…