To Conic Hill again
Conic Hill at Balmaha appears to have become a family favourite. It’s a place where we have often taken visiting friends. At 361 metres the hill is not too hard a climb but it does offer the most amazing views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding countryside.
And so last weekend we set off to walk to the summit again, this time with good friends JoYo, her partner CraigYo and daughter SophieYo. It was a stunningly sunny day and ideal for a saunter and a chat.
But for Little Miss Outdoors there appeared to be something of a mission to get to the top first. Now this is something rather unusual. Until now the Littlest in the Outdoors Family has been a bit of reluctant walker. Yes, she’s summitted a fair few hills but mostly because she’s been cajoled to join us or because she somehow realises that it’s what we do.
However, on this Saturday afternoon we were all having trouble trying to keep up with Little Miss Outdoors. Perhaps she has simply become a lot fitter thanks to her running club and cycling, or maybe she wanted to keep up with JoYo’s little dog Buttons. Or perhaps she has suddenly found a little streak of competitiveness.
In fact, every time that I managed to catch her up, Little Miss Outdoors would put in an extra jog so that she was ahead again.
It was only on the final bump of the hill that she allowed me to walk alongside her and admitted that her legs were tiring a little. Then, 10 metres from the summit, she broke into a run to get to the summit first. The smile on her face when she realised she was first was amazing to see.
While I think she would have enjoyed the ascent more if she’d walked with the rest of us and chatted I could see how much of a thrill she had got from being first.
The biggest revelation, however, was realising that for the first time in many years I had not had to cajole my daughter to climb a hill. To me this felt like the most amazing thing yet. It also meant that when I suggested perhaps climbing a bigger hill next time, Little Miss Outdoors appeared really enthusiastic. Now that’s my girl!