I am in the process of gearing up for section 3 of the Ozark Highlands Trail. This is going to be a 19-20 mile stretch of fairly level trail compared to the previous two sections. It is also supposed to offer some really pretty scenery from the heart of the Ozarks according to the guidebook. As I prep for this hike I am taking my oldest son with me. Those who have followed my posts have read earlier accounts of hikes and camping with my kids. These things are important to me, the time we spend together and the values I get to instill into them almost by osmosis when we get these quality times and experiences together.
I took my oldest son camping for the first time when he was a little over 2 years old. It was his reward for mastering the toilet and abandoning the diaper. We headed to the lake for a “guys only” campout and by the time our tent was up and the fire was built the heavens opened and rain poured down in torrents for hours. We headed to the covered pier to wait out the rain. I had a video camera and my little man with me and a six pack of root beer. To this day, that video is among my most prized of possessions. He was ecstatic just to be there and the root beer induced sugar high overpowered all of the rain that came that night until he finally collapsed in exhaustion in his miniature camping chair next to mine.