Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday 2009


Most years we try to do the traditional walk up Rivington Pike on Good Friday. In 2005, Hayley and I completed the hike, even though Hayley was 5 months pregnant with Oliver. Last year's trip started and ended well but had a stressful middle section.

This year, with Lucy big enough to need the carrier, but with little chance that Oliver would happily walk the whole way, we decided that only Oliver and I would go. Lucy and Hayley stayed home for the last morning with Hayley's sister before she headed back down south.

The Good Friday walk is an important trip for me, not just because it is a tradition from my own youth, but because I got my love of outdoor pursuits from trips as a boy in the cubs, scouts or just with my family into the countryside. The chance to bond with my son like this, even so young, might perhaps give him a taste for the same.

Once parked up at the nearest car park to the summit, I carried the little man on my shoulders for the first few hundred yards, then when we reached a fork in the path he (not I) chose the steeper option, got down from my shoulders and proceeded to run as much as possible. I filmed this short clip on that section. (It gets interrupted by a dog at one point, hence the chaotic shots after you hear Oliver scream and I pick him up for a few paces).

Once back on the flat, I carried him again (filming another conversation along the way).

When we approached the final climb, once again the little man opted for his own steam and climbed all the steps up to the summit. I then filmed him touching all four sides, which is said to bring luck for the coming 12 months (not that you need to believe such superstitions to make them fun to do).

On the way down I bought him candy floss from one of the mobile retailers who were there for today's annual fair. A new experience for him, he had great fun with it once back in the car.


All in all a great morning. Despite worrying weather forecasts it was even perfect walking weather.

Looking at the little man as I took this picture of him leaning against the Pike, what I saw was my little boy growing up quickly. And how I felt was more than a little proud.


I'm already looking forward to next year when I hope all four of us might make it to the top.