Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

The Book of Backyard Trails

Kiki has a new passion and intense project: Creating hiking trails in our backyard. He wanted to dig out the grass for realism, but I gave him string instead. Next day, I gave him flour. I thought a quart of it should be enough to mark his whole trail, but Mr. Plentiful actually needed 30 lbs of all purpose flour. When the sprinklers came on next day, the flour became glue completely petrified and stuck to the grass forever. Gluten is a powerful thing!

Marking a trail with stringBuilding a cave for his trail
New use for construction conesRacing to beat his own record

By his request, we created a printable template to gather data for each trail: name, distance, elevation, hiking and running time, and information on whether dogs are permitted or not. Joaquin is all about racing right now, so he likes to run through the trail and time himself several times in an attempt to beat his own speed.

Despite love for the work, Joaquin is very disappointed that he can’t create an uphill hike with huge elevation. I’ve helped him providing a board and some boxes for support, but he continues to be unimpressed by the tiny angle of the slope. He’s constantly scheming ways to raise that mountain, and has had a couple accidents already. This is a kid who’s been born to rise, and rise, and RISE… And I love him for that.

ClimbingVictoriousBackyard cowboy hiker
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