Several friends recently despaired about the fate of grown children raised by their “helicopter parent” friends. According to them these college educated twenty somethings, including one with a Master’s Degree from Notre Dame, had been coddled from the cradle and were now having problems making it in the real world without mommy and daddy to clear the way for them. In their opinion, some of them were destined to be wards of the state.
But just north of milepost 14 on a local bike trail, my wife and I found hope for at least a few of the future generation.
On a sunny Easter Saturday Laurie and I took a sixty mile ride on the Centennial Trail which starts in Snohomish, Washington, just north of Seattle, and winds through farmland and the outskirts of small towns. The people on this paved path which follows an abandoned rail route are friendly and several businesses cater to the walkers, runners, equestrians, and cyclists who frequent the route. The trail is so well maintained that Laurie called it “the ballroom of bike trails.”
Just north of mile marker 14 east of the town of Marysville the trail took us under an overpass where two girls had a lemonade stand. It was still early in the day and my wife promised them we’d stop on our way back. That was hours away given that we still had 30 plus miles of riding and a lunch stop. We started a long descent into the valley and I guessed that by the time we did get back they would be bored with their little business venture and be long gone.
When we did return hours later there were still there. Their stand is situated at the top of a long hill several hundred feet above the valley floor. When we stopped to talk to them purchase lemonade we found that they had been running this business for three years. One of them was sporting a Stanwood High School shirt and I’d guess that they’re both in high school. Because they’re in the shade at the end of the longest climb on the trail, they’re perfectly positioned to catch tired and thirsty riders, runners, and walkers finishing their climb.
The lemonade was great, especially after 45 miles of riding, and very reasonably priced. It was encouraging to see two young entrepreneurs sticking with business year after year especially after hearing friends lament the fate of their own friend’s kids.
If you do find yourself on the Centennial Trail and come across our two young business women tell them that others find their persistence encouraging. And suggest that they raise their prices. They’ll need the money for college, or their next business venture.