Cousins and Castles

Winnekenni Castle, Haverhill, MA -- photo by Margaret Thompson
Winnekenni Castle, Haverhill, MA — photo by Margaret Thompson

When I share photos from my hikes on Facebook, several cousins frequently make comments like, “We have to hike together sometime!” or “Looks like fun. Let’s hike together one day!”

These comments could easily be construed as the equivalent to “Let’s do lunch.” But since these cousins were my childhood adventuring buddies, I took them at their words and issued an invitation. They accepted!

One challenge we faced for this adventure, though, was the distance that separates us. They live in Massachusetts, just over a hundred miles from me. It made sense to meet somewhere in the middle.

I used Google maps to locate the approximate half-way mark. I picked Haverhill, Massachusetts because it was about half-way between us and it was in the video of people trying to pronounce Massachusetts town names. It’s a very funny video. 🙂

Next, I did what people do these days–I Googled “Hiking trails Haverhill MA”.

The first result brought me to the Winnekenni Castle Trail Map page. I thought, “How cool! A castle! In Massachusetts! Who knew?”

Another link brought me to the City of Haverhill’s Winnekenni Park page.

I shared the web links with my cousins. They were on board for this adventure. We had a date and time to go adventuring!

We met, we hiked, we talked, we laughed. We reminisced about our childhood adventures.

We remembered walking or riding bikes to each other’s homes. We always met in the middle, just like we did on Sunday. Back then that distance was just four miles, but it still took us about an hour to meet up. Things can be the same, even when they are different.

It was such a pleasure to spend time with my cousins. It was wonderful to share them with Earl, and to have them get to know him a bit better. It was also an opportunity for Earl to gain a bit of insight into who I am, because of who I was as a child.

There are not enough words to express my thoughts and feelings about our Sunday adventure. Suffice it to say that my heart is full of joy.

And because I am who I am… I offer this challenge:

Take time this week or next to plan an adventure. Ask a friend or family member to join you. Set a date. Search for a local hiking trail. Show up. Enjoy!





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