Before the weather had even turned warm here, we sat down to make a list.

At the top of a piece of paper we wrote: THINGS TO DO THIS SUMMER.

Then we listed all sorts of odds and ends just so we wouldn’t forget to take advantage of longer days and higher temps. There were numerous items for the lake, of course, but most pressing to the kids, it seemed, was for the “whole entire family” to hike up Jaguar Mountain.

I wrote this request down with a raised eyebrow and a shrug at Jac.  We didn’t know of what the kids spoke.

Then we got to the lake and amid all of the reuniting fun (“Here’s my bow and arrows!”  “My bb gun!” “There’s the store!” etc. etc.), they pointed to one of the three peaks surrounding the lake and exclaimed, “There’s Jaguar mountain!”


Of the three prominences, this particular one is the most difficult to scale.  The path is very nearly straight up, requires the crossing of a barbwire fence, and has loose pine needles or crumbly granite as footing all the way. But it provides the best view as you can see far East and South from the top.

When Mama Syd and Papa Chris met some friends for dinner, we donned our sensible shoes and set out to conquer the mountain.

This was going to be fun!

Then the climb started. Even with their hiking sticks – and they needed one – it was rough going.

There was slipping and sliding . . .

climbing and crawling.

The mosquitoes didn’t make it any easier.  (Notice both of us scratching?) Even Monday had to stop to snap and scratch at the little buggers.

It was hard work.  REALLY hard work.  We all wondered if we would make it or if it would just be easier to turn around and go back.  But then we could see the top!

And the lake!  We all agreed that the struggle had been worth it.

Check it off the list, kids!

*The above photo is all thanks to Jac’s determination.  It is tradition to take your photo at the top and we had no extra person to do it.  Well, I suppose there was Monday but she lacked the thumbs necessary for the task.  As a result,Jac had to balance the camera on a rock and then get himself and Monday back into position.  It took a few tries that’s why Philip is hiding and Ellie is unseen.  This was take number 15 and they had had it. But is still turned out nice, no?*