Hello everyone!! Happy Summer. It’s the perfect time to make a walking stick. I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in Utah there are SO many places to hike, most of which I’ve never been to, sadly. But, I think it’s time to get into the mountains a little more, especially since I don’t have a baby to lug around :).
I have always loved being in the outdoors and it’s so fun to experience new things with the kids. So our goal this summer is to go on three different hikes. This may not seem like a lot, but it’s a start for us :). There’s something very thrilling and fun about being in the outdoors with the kids and yes, there’s always a way to add flair to something for CHEAP…..enter the walking sticks, Oh…..and let’s not forget COUSIN BROOKIE. We are SILLY when we get together, we dance, sing, make weird faces, totally make fools of ourselves. This occasion was not an exception.
So a couple of people working on girls camp with me, harvested walking sticks last night. I couldn’t wait to use some of these for the kiddos for our summer hikes. The best kind of wood to use around Utah is Water Birch or Dogwood. We found our bunch of sticks up Blacksmith Forth Canyon near Logan, Utah. I shouldn’t say that I helped too much because I spent most of my time making sure my kids didn’t get sucked down the river. Luckily we all survived :).
We got to use some of the shorter sticks for mine and Brookie’s kids, and you kind of have to know how to do things the right way before you help 200 girls do it at Girl’s Camp, and yes, that’s where I’ll be in a handful of weeks. So here are the steps in a nutshell:
1. Strip down the sticks to the light-colored wood with a pocket knife. (Brooke’s little toe makes me laugh every time I see it :).
If the wood has just been cut, it’s much easier to strip down, but if you wait, it takes much longer.
Brooke’s a cute little nerd. I can say that because she’s my cousin. Do do dooooo!
Remember Jaden from past posts. He’s our neighborhood ring-leader, helping where he can.
The paint we chose, SUCKS. But that’s ok because you can see the grain of the wood through the top layer, whatever.
2. After the stick is sanded, paint or stain it to your liking. Here we painted one coat, then we put the painter’s tape in a curly-cue pattern and used the gold, which ROCKED.
This is what we were both doing after the kids were trying to play with the spray paint cans & knives the whole time….I admit I was a bit of a crabby patty at times. Brookie has the best faces ever.
This is what my garage looks like right now…..no comment. I’m not going to lie, our yard looked liked a tornado passed through it when we were done….shavings everywhere, paint everywhere, popsicle juice everywhere….and I mean EVERYWHERE.
This is what we came up with. There were no cuts and only minor paint infractions to our driveway….but we won’t mention the grass :), no biggie.
I love the way they turned out. We measured each stick to fit each of the kids. I think the best length for a stick is to fit a little above the navel to the chest.
It kind of looked like a scene out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The gold was so cool, so we used it on almost every single one.
We had some really happy kids at the end. These will be really fun to use on our hikes this summer :). Do you have a favorite hiking spot in Utah or any other place in the world?