[at-l] Hiking w/ grandkids (was: Marooned)

EHamilton imagainst_the_wind at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 2 20:46:12 CST 2010

Thanks, everyone who's responded. Guess I shouldn't make future thru-hike plans for Abbie w/o consulting her :-)  She does very well. She's on grade level in regular first grade at the right age. She understands that last year Grandma hiked a long, long way for weeks and weeks with a big backpack. She wants to go backpacking when the weather turns warm. She loves sleeping in a tent. I've done that with her before, in the backyard. I think she could hike a couple miles to a campsite. I'm going to push for it. BTW, Franken Looper, she also has a great sense of humor. She's always been a practical joker, and lately her jokes are going verbal. Very wry. She's very perceptive but it's hard for her to verbalize, since her speech is difficult.

We also have a teenage (14) grandson in Columbus, OH. I'm trying to interest him in doing a section of the Buckeye Trail. Or maybe come visit us (western MD) and we'll go down to Harper's Ferry and do Maryland, We could make it in 5 days. He's interested but his parents are hesitant. I say, hell, let him go backpacking for a few days with his grandmother, for petesake.

His 11-yo sister isn't that interested in hiking. She's a gymnast, and unfortunately has been laid up with a bum knee for a few months. She's going to have a long comeback and I doubt she'd want or be able to do a long hike. She's just dying to get back on that beam and vault. Poor kid.


From: "nightwalker.at at gmail.com" nightwalker.at at gmail.com

And most Down's kids are more high-function than most autistic kids. Please note the generalization!

Downs is a defect in the 8th chromome pair. My baby-sister-niece has tri-some 8 disorder, which is similar. She is moderately high-function, but not as high as most Down's kids. She has the sense of humor of a Catskills comedian. She was not supposed to live past two, then 12. She will be 22 on the 3rd! My life would be much emptier without her, and I thank God that we have socialized medicine AT LEAST for disabled and elderly folks! She would not be alive without it. Whoever wants to yah-yah can do so elsewhere or politely shove it!

Franken "ReallyDon'tCareWhatY'allThinkOnThisOne" Looper

(Not you, Ginny. I always care what you think! And ol' War Eagle there, your other half. <G>)

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim and_or Ginny Owen <spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com>
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 10:02 PM
To: at-l <at-l at backcountry.net>
Subject: [at-l] Marooned

I don't know about Downs, but when I hiked the AT in 1992 there was a family out hiking with a son who had severe autism.  I met them at Cable Gap, just before the Smokies.  Seems the father had long dreamed about thruhiking.  His wife, who had no interest in hiking, said, "If you go, we're going too."  I have no idea how far they got, but they at least got as far as Fontana that year.  (Biggest problem was that she insisted on going to every single town they passed.  She carried a hair dryer so she'd look good in town. ) The son didn't really seem to understand why they were out there, but he was enjoying himself - at least on a nice sunny day.  IIRC, we talked about Dollywood, which they were going to visit when they reached Gatlinburg.

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