We are getting ready to go on a short trip to Sequoia National Park and Yosemite, and one of the things we'll be packing is Dale's hiking stick. We got this last year when we were on our cross country national park tour with our friends Eric and Herbert. Dale is struggling with some back issues and found that it was easier to hike with a walking stick - we picked this one up at Grand Canyon in the tourist shops, it was plain pine with Grand Canyon burnt into it. Not the most thrilling thing. But I knew I'd bring it home and make it a little more fun later.
I finally got to it over the winter, I used acrylic paints and painted bands of patterns up and down the entire stick. After I got it done, it looked a little too colorful, so I brought it out to the garage and toned it down with a coat of stain, which did the trick. Afterwards, I gave it a nice coat of poly so the colors wouldn't get rubbed off too easily.
In most of the parks we visited last year, we picked up a small metal emblem that is made to hammer onto a walking stick. Somehow we managed to misplace a couple (yellowstone? where are you?), but they'll turn up eventually. The ones we do have are:
Death Valley. Dale and I went there over the winter when the weather was somewhat reasonable. Still hot, but not bad.
Arches National Park - this park was beautiful, but we ended up on a hike that was a little over our heads! It was super hot that day, but we eventually got back to the car and drank down all our water!
Antelope Island - this is in the Great Salt Lake in Utah, we saw bison and antelopes and went swimming in the lake, which was absolutely hilarious.
Bryce Canyon. Dale and I visited Bryce Canyon on our way home from Indiana this past Christmas. We only spent a day at the park, it was snow covered, we didn't want to go hiking in the snow, but we did enjoy doing sightseeing. We'll have to go back sometime!
Mount Rushmore -- this emblem's pretty fancy schmancy, but we did enjoy this historic site, too. We spent a full day there, doing the hikes and learning about the historical aspects.
So we'll add a couple of emblems to his walking stick this summer, and now he's got soemthing that's a little person and a lot more stylish!