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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Breakfast on the Trail - part 1

     So, here it is Spring again, and I am parenting MacGyver style. 
     Now that Barge Pilot is in the final stages of production (insert polite golf clap here), I have some time on my hands and thought that maybe I should devote some of that time to my children.  I was recently inspired by that hiking roustabout Andrew Skurka and realized that breakfast could only be better on a local trail, watching the sun rise over the D/FW metroplex, greeting the day when everything was fresh and shiny and new. My mind raced at the possibilities, granola and fruit while lounging by the water, or maybe we would huddle under a grove of trees and cook... well, something over a quaint campfire. If I played my cards right, maybe I could even use the trip as a justification to buy Skurka's book, The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail. This was going to be a trip to remember.
     In order to match up all the different schedules, all we needed to do was to be up, get dressed, find flashlights, find the battery stash, replace the dead batteries in the flashlight with fresh ones that we would pick up along the way, gas the Nissan troop transport, buy the breakfast ingredients, pick up the niece and nephew, allow ten minutes for a wrong turn and step onto the trail about 8:00 a.m. No problem.
     About ten minutes before 9:00, I rolled out of bed in dire need of coffee and donuts. It was clear that, in true MacGyver fashion, we were going to have to creatively adapt to the new situation. In my case, that meant quietly waking the boys and getting them dressed so that we could sneak out of the house without the female members of the tribe and still have some hope of finishing the breakfast hike before sunset.
     I think it was the jingle of the keys that woke the three year old, right before she ran out of her bedroom yelling something that sounded like, "I want to go Daddy! Please good father, do not employ your silly mis-directions to trick me into going into another room while you and my brothers steal away without me." Well, it sounded like that to me anyway.
In the distant background, Lockheed Martin and the drums
of war. Somewhere in the woods lurks Goat Man.
     So we waited as the women folk donned hiking attire; curled, straightened, dyed then bleached hair; changed outfits; located sunglasses; changed outfits again; made several phone calls; changed outfits again; and, just prior to loading into the Nissan, wondered out loud why weren' t we boys ready to go yet.  A quick stop for 5 gallons of gas (about $100), and some quick trail snacks (it was too late even for brunch), a pit stop to pick up the niece and nephew and at long last... TRAIL BOUND!
     In the spirit of minimizing our "carbon footprint" with the Nissan Battalion, we chose Sansom Park which isn't too far from the house.  The park is in sore need of a good cleaning, but it has some great hiking trails.  The area is locally renowned for its proximity to Lockheed Martin, and not incidentally, localized sightings of the infamous Goat Man.  More importantly, given the encroaching sun, the park is close to lots of places to get a late lunch...
    Join me for Part 2 of Breakfast on the Trail, where we herd 6 small kids over a rocky descent, share a stirring moment with 3 strangers, two turtles, and a half-alligator/half-chupacabra, battle the Goat Man, all while in search of the perfect breakfast spot!

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