First, answer to previous riddles/jokes:

1. What do you call it when a king climbs to the top of a mountain?


2. What’s high in the middle and round on both ends?

Ohio! (The word.)

3. What’s low in the middle and flat on both ends?

Ohio! (The shape of the state.)

4. What two words hold more than a thousand letters?

Post office!

5. What do you call a spider who likes to play on playgrounds?

A slider!

6. What do you call it when cars play checkers?


7. What do you call it when chickens play checkers?

Chickers! Or Peckers!

Are you laughing yet? Because my boys are.

Anyway, that first one, about hiking, is one that Simon and Micah came up with when we hiked up to Elephant Rock when we were in Utah. It was, I believe, the boys’ first real hike and they did well. Simon fell once or twice, but he kept on hiking. He found a way to distract himself from his misery as we neared the top of the trail and he thought it would go on forever: searching for pill bugs. And picking them up. And naming them. He was  a little upset when we told him they were mountain pill bugs and they needed to stay in the mountains, but he got over it.

Oliver needed to be carried quite a bit, but he was good a sport about the whole endeavor.

We hiked up with my dad (who, incidentally, hiked in a boot meant to immobilize his foot since he was recovering from a stress fracture in one of his metatarsals), and my brother and sister-in-law, and they were also great sports about putting up with a couple of city-dwelling kids who are, by turns, really excited about nature and really puzzled about why anyone would want to be out in it. And also, who don’t really stop talking and asking questions. (I’m slightly terrified to think that it isn’t going to be too long before Elsa is right there with them, adding her little voice to the interrogations.)

But the views were excellent. And it was really fun to tell Simon that he could tell his class that he hiked a mountain over the summer. You know, because he is going to school and is going to have a class and summer break is actually going to mean something to him.

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