A half an hour. An hour. Two hours. To the beach. To the camp. To Mount Baldy. Saugatuck has some of the best trails and many of them start right back by my Grandma Betty’s cottage.
It wasn’t uncommon throughout the year to see people in their gym shoes with water bottles, and a walking stick passing by my grandmas cottage. Sometimes the peace and quiet was disturbed by a large group of hikers. My grandma, if she was outside, would always start up a conversation, acting like she had known them for years. Sometimes, if she was feeling up for it, she would even join them on their walk. Boy did she love to go on those hikes.
I remember them a lot when I was younger. Stifling hot, chilly, windy, or drizzling… whatever the weather, if we were bored, it was time to go out walking. First, we would decide where we wanted to go. Time and distance would factor in here. Second we would decide which trail we wanted to take to get to our destination… red, green, brown, blue, or yellow. Lastly, before we left, we needed to get all the necessary materials together. Sometimes we would go on a picnic, so the basket needed to be packed. Other times we would be headed to the beach… flip flops, towels, and suntan lotion filled our bags those times.
Once we were on our way, finding a suitable walking stick was the most important. Especially as my grandma got older, she relied on a stick more than ever. This was always my favorite part of hiking. Finding the perfect stick became a game of sorts. We would try out tons of different sticks each time until we were satisfied with our choices. I liked tall and thick stick that when stuck into the ground to bear my weight; they would break but only slightly bend.
There were other wonderful parts of our walks too. Exercise, being in nature (sometimes deer would move right around us), and talking and laughing about whatever while spending time together made these hikes so special.
To this day, Grandma Betty is with me still when I walk these trails.