In Utah, a 100-Mile Trek With a 4-Year-Old Boy - NYTimes.com
Rohit Khare stashed this in TRAVELMAN
Bodi walked about half of each day, little legs bounding as he led the parade. Given that he is not instinctively drawn to animals (he seems to prefer gasoline engines to ambient beings), I watched with pride as his relationship with the goats progressed from fear to toleration to tentative interactions.
He spent the rest of his time in the child carrier, nattering in my ear and squirming endlessly. I loved every minute. Abe — fearful this extra “training” might lead to my eclipsing his youthful strength — insisted upon his fair share of carrying.
My wife sent along a small present for each day of the trip, which Bodi opened eagerly every morning: rainbow lollipops, a Spirograph, beads for bracelet-making. Then, a minor tragedy: a pedometer disappeared from Bodi’s belt. He had been averaging 40,000 steps a day, and was recording the results in a journal. Exhausted, he unleashed a spirited tantrum — then promptly fell asleep on a rock.
Asleep beside me, his body was perfectly still, his freckles pronounced after days in the sun. Far from the certainties of home, I was Bodi’s only anchor, and he had clamped on like a barnacle. His dependence was so primal and unfamiliar that deep emotions bubbled up in me; tears welled at the slightest provocation — like a boy’s heavy head on my arm.
We stayed up late, roasted marshmallows and watched the moon rise; four unlikely males, separated by decades, bonded by isolation, sweat and goats, nearing the end of our journey.