Story by

Jessica Pahl

May 3rd, 2016

There were experiences in my childhood that shaped the way I now view the rest of my life. Moments in time that pointed me to interests that, years down the road, would become passions. Weeks spent with my grandparents as a kid in Tennessee, bathing their horse or walking down to their garden to pick vegetables, had a lasting impression on me. I wonder what memories my children will one day look back on as having made a huge impact on their lives.

We had heard about a hike in a canyon near us. Along with beautiful hills of yellow mustard flowers and a creek running through oaks and eucalyptus, it also has a unique feature.

Architecture students at the local university had designed and built structures over the decades for people to explore.

As I watched my kids, I saw their eyes get big with curiosity and excitement. Would this be the first spark for a future architect?

Would the many plants along our hike be one of the reasons they may one day become a botanist? Would the wild turkey, open spaces and cows in the distance inspire them to become ranchers or farmers?

A Saturday hike is so much more than just a walk in the woods. It's an opportunity: a chance to watch your children explore and see their minds expand. New sights, new smells, new wonder. You never know what tiny moment in time will have massive impact on your child's future.

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