Admittedly not my finest photographic effort, but here's a look at Dean from 7:30 this morning -- making final adjustments to his gear before packing up and heading out. He's going on a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire's White Mountains for 4 days and 3 nights, along with 9 classmates and 2 teachers from school. Although he has a "no-nonsense, and don't take too long taking this picture" look on his face, he was so eager to get going this morning.
If you've been along on the journey here for a while, you know that this is a pretty major breakthrough. Dean hasn't been interested in leaving home during the summers, preferring day camps and being at home. It was hard for me to accept this -- much as I adore him and having him at home -- because my summers were all spent at summer camps where I'd be for weeks, camping in the woods and miles away from home and I always felt he was missing out.
But in typical Dean fashion, when he's ready to do something he's all over it, and this was a perfect opportunity to go with an outdoor expert (one of his teachers is a certified Appalachian Mountain Club guide), with people he knows and trusts. I'm so proud of him, and am looking forward to his return home with all the stories he'll have to tell.
S'mores. We'll have s'mores for dessert when he gets home Friday night.