Hiking With Grandpa

Bryce likes the outdoors and is particularly fond of going on hikes. Hearing him talk excitedly about his adventurous treks with the family reminded me of hikes with Grandpa when I was young—either at Grace Lord Park in Boonton or at the bigger park—The Tourne.

I must have taken you all to The Tourne, but my only memories of this park are of going there as a child. There were several trails meandering through the woods, and at least one of them lead to the top of the Tourne, which provided great views of the New York City skyline.

Grandpa sometimes enjoyed going off-trail, creating his own path through the woods. He instructed me to break a tree branch every few feet to mark our trail on the way up the mountain, so that we could return by the same route using the broken branches as our guide. This did not explain what to do if we got lost going up, but he probably knew the way and, as a kid, it was a fun lesson.

He would point to the rock-covered mountain and explain that this was the remnants of the ice age, so I got a science lesson along with our outdoor adventure. When we reached the top, we’d sit on one of the sheets of rock and enjoy the view.

I must have been quite young because in my memory, he and I went alone. I suppose my other siblings were stuck home with Grandma, so this was a treat to be able to go out in the wilderness of Boonton with just Grandpa. As one of five children, there were not many opportunities for alone-time with either of my parents, so this was a special memory.

Here’s a photo I found of a more grown-up me at the top of the Tourne. I had gone there with some high-school friends. I was too old to go with my dad by then.

Tourne

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