Quandary: What to do with dad | SummitDaily.com

Quandary: What to do with dad

Dear Quandary,

What's a good hike for me, dad and the kids this Father's Day?

Thanks,

Failure to plan

Oh, we've all been there. You're down to those last fleeting moments trying to pull off the ultimate celebration for the minimal amount of dough. Welcome to crunch time.

I know, you had brilliant plans of picnics and weekend getaways back in December, but now that Father's Day is upon us, and the picnic basket is still just a picture in a catalog, it's time to toss the Skippy in a plastic bag and hit the trail. Don't worry, you can still make this a fantastic Father's Day, you just have to pay close attention to what dad really wants this year. Remember, it is the thought that counts, right?

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Here's my top picks for how to ensure a good day for all involved, depending on what type of dad you're dealing with: First off, gauge the man's energy level. For some Father's Day is a day to bask in the glory of what you've done all year, and frankly, rest on the laurels of good fatherhood, without having to lift a finger. If this sounds like the man in your life, try to make things as easy as possible. If pops is usually the one frying up the bacon, go check out the Elks Lodge from 9 a.m. to noon for some great food, with the added bonus of supporting the Summit County Boy and Cub Scouts troops. For only $12 per adult, $5 for youngsters under 12, your old man can have a great meal, and best of all? No fights over doing the dishes.

Once every belly is full, you can pick your next adventure. If hiking is in your wheelhouse, some of the easier — yet still beautiful hikes — around Summit include the two trails out of the Dillon Nature Preserve, Tenderfoot and Sapphire Point. These are a great opportunity for dad to enjoy the outdoors and show off his kids, again without a lot of heavy lifting. They are good for hikers of almost any age, are all clear of snow (yes, it's June, but that's still a relevant question) and don't require a huge commitment. Everyone has tried taking the kids out for a grand adventure only to find out they have something completely different in mind — while these hikes may not be tantrum-proof, they do offer the ever-valuable option, "we can turn around if you don't want to behave."

For some dads though, Father's Day presents an opportunity to show off all of those dad skills. One good option for dads with something to prove is to head out fishing. I know, it sounds nice and simple: a quiet day on the lake followed by some smoked or pan-fried trout for dinner, but when reality comes into play things get more complicated. Worms are gooey, hooks are sharp and sitting still for that long is just plain difficult, which is why this celebration is reserved for expert dads. This old goat has given up on the idea of taking kids fishing, it requires a precise combination of skills and patience that these hooves just can't manufacture anymore. And it doesn't take long for "please stop throwing rocks" to turn into "what were you thinking? You weren't thinking were you."

If push comes to shove, and the great outdoors just don't beckon to father, remember the U.S. Open is on, and there's nothing better than a cold beer on a hot day. Why? Because I said so.

Quandary, an old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to any question about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Send an email to quandary@summitdaily.com